Emily and Carlo

Overview

When Emily Dickinson was given a puppy by her father, the two were instant best friends. She named him Carlo, after a dog in one of her favorite books, and she delighted in the growing dog’s antics. Carlo, a Newfoundland (and possibly part Saint Bernard), grew to a rather large size and was full of energy. He loved his adventures with Emily. They were an odd pair—a tiny woman and a large, galumphing dog. But they were devoted to one another. Carlo gave Emily confidence to wander and explore the woods and hills ...

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Overview

When Emily Dickinson was given a puppy by her father, the two were instant best friends. She named him Carlo, after a dog in one of her favorite books, and she delighted in the growing dog’s antics. Carlo, a Newfoundland (and possibly part Saint Bernard), grew to a rather large size and was full of energy. He loved his adventures with Emily. They were an odd pair—a tiny woman and a large, galumphing dog. But they were devoted to one another. Carlo gave Emily confidence to wander and explore the woods and hills near her home, and he listened to her stories and poems. This touching story—delightfully illustrated by Catherine Stock—gives a new insight into the life of the famed reclusive poet of Amherst, Massachusetts. Learning of her close friendship and love for Carlo sheds a new light on the thoughts and feelings of a woman believed to be lonely. Carlo is present in much of her poetry, and readers learn of a woman of charm and wit who loved her constant companion.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Ellen Welty
The poet Emily Dickinson is at least as well known for her reclusiveness as she is for her poetry. A more sympathetic view of her is offered in this charmingly illustrated picture book about Emily and her dog. The Newfoundland dog was given to Emily by her father when she was about nineteen and he was a puppy. She had him for sixteen years and he was the only dog she ever had. Emily Dickinson only published ten poems in her lifetime. After her death her sister found hundreds of poems that Emily had stashed in her house, many composed while wandering with Carlo, her beloved dog. The watercolor illustrations impart a sense of fragility which seems appropriate to the life of the shy and frail poet who died at the age of fifty-six. Back matter includes the author's notes about Emily and also about how she came to be interested in writing a book about someone who is so often portrayed as a sad and reclusive woman, but who came to life for this author when she realized how much Emily must have loved the large messy dog that was her only companion for so many years. There is a bibliography, a list of source material for the quotes from Emily's poems and an index. Reviewer: Ellen Welty
Kirkus Reviews
Emily Dickinson did have a love interest. His name was Carlo. He was a dog, a Newfoundland, a great, slobbering, shaggy mess of a creature, which undercuts any notions of primness modern readers may harbor of Miss Dickinson. As Figley draws forth their gathering affection, she reveals important aspects of Dickinson's relationship to the world, her deep-running shyness that led to a reclusive life. But her time with Carlo, some 16 years, was full of beauty and meaning, as expertly coaxed from her poems and letters. The path to her brother's house, "just wide enough for two who love"; "I started early, took my dog, / And visited the sea." They were a couple, surely--they shared sweeps of time, they endured separations, they went calling--and when the end came for Carlo, Dickinson did not dodge the sting: " 'Twas my one glory-- / Let it be / Remembered / I was owned of thee." And if a moodiness still pervades the proceedings, something blue, the tone is lifted by Stock's watercolors, which are as drenched in color as a sun room painted by Childe Hassam. A pleasing little window into Dickinson's life and an invitation to learn more about the fresh-breathed poet from Amherst. (Picture book/biography. 5-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781580892742
  • Publisher: Charlesbridge Publishing, Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/1/2012
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 998,366
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: 640L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.10 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Marty Rhodes Figley is the author of several books for young readers, including PRISONER OF LIBERTY and WASHINGTON IS BURNING. She is a member of the Emily Dickinson International Society. Her academic paper on EMILY AND CARLO was presented at the 2004 EDIS conference and was published in November 2005 issue of The Emily Dickinson Journal. She lives in Annandale, Virginia.

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