Once I Ate a Pie (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
All three creators of this book share their boundless love of dogs with the reader. Both the words and the pictures are really in tune with dogs' lives and they highlight some of the wildly different personality types that dogs display. The particular dog named in the title of the poem narrates each poem. The first poem is titled, "Puppy," and most children will empathize with the puppy's vision of the world. "Trees too tall. Sky too HIGH. Snow over my head. What if I get lost?" The word "tall" stretches out to show the idea of height. The word "HIGH" floats up in a curve over the sentence. The little puppy stares at the reader. Around him, muddy, puppy footprints smudge around the page and onto the opposite page where the poem appears. Schneider's illustrations are gorgeous and show a true love of dogs. Glistening, jewel-like puppy eyes stare out at the reader, and the soft brushwork captures the soft texture of a puppy's fur. All the poems are a joy to read with well thought out typography and page design. Mr. Beefy, the bulldog, likes to steal pies and other tempting food from his owner's table. The illustration to accompany this poem shows a bulldog sitting lazily next to an upturned pie tray. Gus, the German Sheppard, likes to herd his people. Lucy, the beagle, nestles between her owners in their bed. Needle Nose is always opening things like refrigerators, pillows, and dog-cookie boxes. He can even open the mail with his nose. Tillie and Maude look alike but are opposites in behavior and temperament. Luke, the old dog and the last poem in the book, only wants to rest and dream. 2006, HarperCollins Children's Books, Ages 4 to 8.
—Sally J. K. Davies
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3-Free-verse poems about 14 individual dogs sprawl across oversize spreads accompanied by large oil illustrations. The poems and paintings together delightfully capture each distinct personality in few words and with broad strokes of the brush. The fonts change often and reflect the poet's words-rising and falling, sometimes in bold type, growing larger and smaller and dancing over the pages. The format allows for plenty of white space, emphasizing the postures and personalities of the pups and helping the playful fonts to stand out. The overall result is an entertaining visit with some very appealing canines, and a book that perhaps could serve as an inspiration in the classroom for young poets trying to describe their own pets. One wishes that the breeds were listed somewhere, but all in all, this title is still a real treat.-Judith Constantinides, formerly at East Baton Rouge Parish Main Library, LA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
An appealing cover image of a charming pug invites the reader into this ode to canine companions by the mother-and-daughter team. Fourteen short, non-rhyming poems introduce a variety of highly individualistic dogs, with the personality of each one captured in just a few revealing lines. The poems are written in first person with an innocent viewpoint appropriate to a dog's egocentric perspective on the world. Abby "borrows" bones, balls and slippers (and doesn't give them back); Mr. Beefy the pug steals butter (or even a cherry pie) from the table; and Lucy, adopted from a shelter, sleeps between her owners with her own pillow and teddy bear. Schneider's expressive paintings add to each dog's character, skillfully capturing distinctive breed characteristics, with expressive eyes and playful postures that indicate thorough knowledge of canine behavior. Thoughtful design elements include a trail of paw prints leading from the cover through the front matter into the text, varying type treatments and a mixture of illustration perspectives. (Poetry. 4-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780606122962
  • Publisher: Demco Media
  • Publication date: 3/1/2010
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 1,200,453
  • Product dimensions: 9.10 (w) x 10.80 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Patricia MacLachlan is the bestselling author of beloved books for young readers, including Arthur, For the Very First Time, winner of the Golden Kite Award for fiction; The Facts and Fictions of Minna Pratt; and Sarah, Plain and Tall, winner of the Newbery Medal, as well as its sequels, Skylark, Caleb's Story, and More Perfect Than the Moon. Her picture books include Who Loves Me?, Three Names, What You Know First, and All the Places to Love and Bittle, Painting the Wind, and Once I Ate a Pie, which she cowrote with her daughter, Emily. She lives with her husband in Williamsburg, Massachusetts.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 10 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2013

    I absolutely love this book. As a pug owner, the cover is what g

    I absolutely love this book. As a pug owner, the cover is what got my attention. The kids love it and the illustrations are beautiful.

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  • Posted February 28, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    a great poetry collection for readers young and old

    "I am not thin, but I am beautiful





    looking, I steal tubs of butter off the table.

    I take them to the basement to eat in private.

    Once I ate a PIE."

    Once I Ate a Pie (2006) is a collection of poems written by Patricia MacLachlan and Emily MacLachlan with illustrations by Katy Schneider.

    In this delightful collection thirteen dogs tell all about everything from being small, barking, to "borrowing" bread from the table. The poems fill the page in large, easy to read print that bends and dips in interesting directions to draw reads in.

    Schneider's illustrations, especially Mr. Beefy (who once ate a pie) shown on the cover, bring these many and varied dogs to life.

    Once I Ate a Pie is a great poetry collection for readers young and old. The poems are endearing and funny but also subtle for older readers. The writing is clear and easy to follow with straightforward wording. Every time I pick up this collection, I find something else to love.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2012

    Adorable Book!

    Bought this book for my 5 year old granddaughter, who loves dogs. She loves it! The puppy illustrations are adorable! Definitely recommend it!!

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  • Posted December 13, 2011

    Perhaps our favorite read-aloud book

    We have read our share pf books aloud, from Goodnight Moon to Doctor Dolittle to Flying Solo, and this one just has a special place in our hearts. It is fun to read, and apparently fun to listen to. I hope it comes out for the nook so I could always have a copy at hand to read to the uninitiated.

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  • Posted January 16, 2010

    For Dog Lovers

    This book is an excellent bedtime book for young children. If you & your little one love dogs, you will enjoy the illustrations and the way the author captures the descriptive sense of the dogs.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2009

    once elementary students loved a book

    The students at my school Loved this book. Even those students who do not own a dog shared stories about other dogs they have encountered. I was pleased at the enthusiastic reception from the students.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2008

    a reviewer

    It's a great book I just love reading it even thiugh I'm 11 i think it's a great book.I thinkk that it is reall cute, laughable, and fun to read:)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2006

    sure to be a favorite!

    My son just got this book as a gift for his third birthday. It is already a household favorite. We all smile and laugh - it's great to have a book even us parents can enjoy (especially since we must read it EVERY night (sometimes more than once!). Highly recommended, especially for 'dog people!'

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2006

    A Delight to read!!!

    My two boy ages 2 and 6 just love this book and so do I... It's so cute and I love the desciptions of about the different dogs, it puts a big smile on all our faces everytime we read it...an absolute delight!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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