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I, JACK by Patricia Finney


by Patricia Finney & illustrated by Peter Bailey

Age Range: 8 - 11

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-06-052207-0
Publisher: HarperCollins

This dog story with a difference is written in first-person narrative from the viewpoint of Jack, a yellow Lab who lives with a family with three children and three cats. Jack views the world in simple terms of food, smells, and affection for his pack members, until a female Samoyed named Petra moves in next door. A tastefully handled romance ensues when Jack escapes to the neighbors’ yard, and Petra eventually has puppies in an abandoned building. Jack repeatedly runs away and steals food to take to her, and the dramatic conclusion involves rescuing both Jack’s owner and the puppies. Finney tells her funny story in short sentences with interspersed creative type treatments in larger fonts and small line illustrations that break up the text. Jack’s limited understanding of the human world and his funny names for things provide some droll humor, and the three cats, who refer to Jack as the Big Yellow Stupid, ostensibly provide clever footnotes. Includes an author’s note and a glossary of “Jackspeak.” (Fiction. 8-11)