Book Jacket

 

rank 4061
word count 12258
date submitted 06.05.2012
date updated 08.06.2012
genres: Children's
classification: universal
complete

The Other Side of the Window

Jane Wilson

Mollie and George have very different reactions to watching their humans leave the house. Mollie plays or naps. But George... George worries. A lot.

 

George and Mollie are two happy dogs living a wonderful life in a loving home with their two humans. At least, they're mostly happy. George can't stop wondering where the humans go every day and decides to look for clues to explain the mystery.
"But George wouldn’t think of fond memories just now,
"With his tail in the air, through the cushions he plowed.
"No nick-knack was safe - he was like a dervish a-whirl!
"And the shambles he made would make your hair curl."
Mollie is horrified as George turns the house upside down in his dogged hunt for for the truth. Waiting in the window for the humans to return, the dogs are sure they're in big trouble.
With warm humour and in comical verse, 'The Other Side of the Window' is a beautifully illustrated children's storybook that explores the ways in which nameless fears can sometimes look like bad behaviour, and how we may need to dig a little deeper to discover what's really underneath what may look like just a great big mess.
Inspired by the real George and Mollie, everything in the story really happened. The dialogue, well... that's probably true.

 
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tags

acting out, anxiety, children, dogs, forgiveness, guilt, illustrated, love, mischief, understanding, verse, worry

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35 comments

 

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Diane60 wrote 617 days ago

CHIRG
oh Jane i thought it was beautiful and made me quite teary!
didn't really care for the second story though.
I can see Mollie and George and all their activity! wonderful writing and very precise not too many words but but just the right ones!
enjoyed it tremendously!
:)
diane

Cas Meadowfield wrote 624 days ago

CHIRG

A gorgeous epic poem. Reading it made me feel warm in side
wonderful rhymes and rhythms and loved reading it outloud. Don't Let Your Parents Read This Book is fun too...
Cas
The Wind Maker
Seed Stories

NowSpeakTruth wrote 631 days ago

CHIRG

"mum spent spend hours cuddling her tummy"

kokako has taken care of the nitty gritty in firm detail however,
I would just like to say that this story is fantastic.
So whimsical and cute, I like everything about it. Beautiful little children's story here.
God bless

Sara Stinson wrote 653 days ago

CHIRG

Hi Jane,
I believe the review before me has taken care of the errors and has done a wonderful job. Mollie and George are precious! I do believe I have a little one here who would love to play with them. She loves to sling the toilet paper! :) The poem was easy to read and a pleasure to read. I give you high stars and wish you good luck with your book!
Sara Stinson
Finger Bones

kokako wrote 694 days ago

CHIRG

Hi Jane,

I’ve just read your lovely poem for young children, along with the blurb at the bottom mentioning that there are some excellent illustrations to go with it. I can imagine. The one you have up as the book cover is delightful, and as I read the poem I kept thinking that illustrations would set this off beautifully. If they’re all of a similar quality to the one you have here, I’m certain they would look fantastic with it and the overall product would be perfect for a read-aloud book for young children. In fact, I could see it easily becoming a children’s favourite. You have a delightful story here, which youngsters would adore.

Below are a few notes I made as I read this. Mainly, they focus on the beat in each line of your poem. Sometimes you’re trying to squeeze so much into a sentence that the beat no longer falls on the logical word when reading this for the first time, which throws the reader off and affects the lovely natural rhythm that most of this story has.

1) ‘so sweet you could cry’
As George is big and handsome, ‘sweet’ just doesn’t seem right. Maybe try something like, ‘ but a softy inside’

2) ‘When the two left’
As the only ‘two’ who’ve been mentioned are the dogs, this was confusing, as I thought it must mean the dogs left – but as he was a dog, he ought to know where he went each morning. You don’t state how many humans are in the house, so it took me a bit to work out that the ‘two’ referred to the people. It’s even more confusing because later you refer to them as ‘mother’ and ‘father’, so it sounds as though there’s a whole family, rather than just a couple. Maybe here you could say something like, ‘When their pack left’, (which puts it in more doggy language, as they would view their owners as their pack)

Perhaps also, instead of ‘the mother’ and ‘the father’ you could say ‘the female’ and ‘the male’, which fits into the rhyme but doesn’t suggest there are children somewhere around. Or maybe just say, ‘His mother’ or ‘Their mother’ and the same for ‘father’ as many people talk about being the mother and father of their pets. (Having now read right to the end, I think this last option would be best, as the puppies often refer to their owners as ‘Mum’ and ‘Dad’ etc through the rest of the story).

3) ‘The poor things weren’t blessed with all over hair’
I love this

4) ‘Mollie’s tail would wag happily’
‘happily’ doesn’t quite work here. Maybe try ‘fast’?

5) ‘But after days’
maybe try, ‘But when days’ or just ‘After days’, as it’s easier to fit two words (or syllables) in before the first beat in the line than it is to fit three.

6) ‘what you like, Mollie’
Maybe shorten ‘Mollie’ to ‘Moll’ here, to make it fit the beat better

7) ‘closed tight with a frown’
comma after ‘tight’ otherwise it sounds as though a frown has the drawers closed tight

8) ‘George shook it, then sniffed it… bit an eraser in two’
‘bit an eraser’ is too many syllables to squeeze in between the beats, making the sentence difficult. In NZ we’d say ‘bit a rubber’, which would fit fine, but ‘rubber’ may not work where you come from. Maybe say, ‘bit a pencil’ instead. A puppy could easily bite through one of those.

9) ‘He pawed through some papers and licked an old, leaky pen’
‘papers and licked’. Again there are too many syllables to make this fit between the beats. To easily get the rhythm of this saying something like, ‘He pawed through some work, licked an old, leaky pen’ would flow best, but ‘work’ isn’t as good as ‘papers’ for the sense of the story, so maybe compromise by putting, ‘He pawed through some papers, licked an old, leaky pen’

10) ‘Then something minty (was dad sneaking humbugs again?)’
There are too many beats in this sentence. If you have ‘Then’, then you have to remove ‘was dad’ to make it fit the beats. Or you can remove ‘Then’ and it will all fit fine – except people may wonder at first if the pen in the sentence before is minty. To get around this, you could put a semi-colon instead of a comma into the previous sentence (if you’ve removed ‘and’ as suggested above). This turns it into a series of events.
Capital ‘d’ for ‘dad’ as it’s being used as a proper noun.

11) ‘(But was George over-confident… or was he being dogmatic?)’
I’d remove ‘was he’ to help this flow more easily.

12) ‘Mum spent spend hours’
remove ‘spend’

13) ‘Little George and the father’
Again, I’d think about changing ‘the’ to ‘their’ or ‘his’; especially as, in the first line of this verse, you’ve said ‘her mummy’. And in the next line you say, ‘dad’ (Capital ‘d’ for ‘dad’, by the way)

14) ‘nick-knack’
should be ‘knick-knack’

15) ‘ “Please tell me,” Mollie said’
Maybe say ‘Moll’ here instead of ‘Mollie’. It would fit the beat a little more easily.

16) ‘It’s like an itch’
The quotation marks before ‘It’s’ are close quotation marks rather than open ones, so they need to be changed. (Very nit-picky but I thought you might want to know)

17) ‘He coughed out a feather and stepped over a book’
I’d be inclined to replace the ‘and’ with a comma. It would fit well with the previous line, and would flow slightly better.

18) ‘followed him worried’
comma after ‘him’

19) ‘filled her heart full’
‘there’s a bit of repetition with ‘filled’ and ‘full’. Maybe try something like, ‘made her heart fill’ instead.

20) ‘George had to pause for a think’
The beat might work better as, ‘George paused for a think’

21) ‘George preferred wastebasket smells for sniffing out puzzles’
I can’t get the beat to work here. Maybe just say something like, ‘George preferred rubbish for sniffing out puzzles’ or ‘George preferred garbage for…’

22) ‘to stretch right out’
I’d remove ‘right’

23) ‘there was no more paper to drag’
I’d remove ‘paper’. We know he’s pulling the tissue, so it’s not necessary and it ruins the rhythm.

24) ‘It looked like a blizzard had blown through the front door’
As above, I’d remove ‘front’. It’s not essential and makes the beat difficult.

25) ‘they’d say he had been’
maybe make ‘he had’ he’d, as the reader naturally places the stress on ‘say’ rather than ‘he’

26) ‘his neck and feet’
again, the natural stress goes on ‘neck’, so maybe say, ‘his neck and his feet’

27) ‘saw the dogs bathed in soft light’
maybe say, ‘saw them bathed in soft light’ as it fits the rhythm better.

28) ‘But when they opened the door’
Rhythm again. Maybe try, ‘But on opening the door’

29) ‘Mother had to grip father’s arm to stay steady’
Again, I can’t get the beat to work for this line. Maybe try something like, ‘Mum had to grab hold of Dad’s arm to stay steady’

30) ‘As he took it all in, father looked aghast at mother’
The beat is a bit off here also. Maybe try something like, ‘As Dad took it all in, he stared at their mother.’

31) ‘ “My dear he said…’
I found the whole of this verse difficult to read for the same reason. Often it can just be a case of adjusting words and condensing things until the beat sits naturally on the words you want to stress. For this verse you could try something like;
‘ “My dear,” he said calmly – (to hide his true feeling)
“George’s paw prints are on this, from floor up to ceiling.”
But mother looked shrewd; of one thing she felt certain:
’Neath the tissue and feathers, someone’s feelings were hurting.
“Father,” she said, “Hold on. Let me speak.
“Don’t look at the mess, not a squint, not a peek.”
She crossed the wrecked hall; found the dogs in their chair,
Moll quivered by George, who looked worn out with care.’

32) ‘I’m not mad at George’
Open quotation marks before ‘I’m’

33) ‘As George’s forehead unfurrowed, Mollie’s tail wagged in a flurry’
There are too many words to keep the beat right here. Maybe try removing a few? ‘George’s forehead unfurrowed, Mollie’s tail wagged a flurry’

34) ‘She knew mother’s soft, loving voice had calmed his every last worry’
And the same for this line; ‘Mother’s soft, loving voice had calmed George’s worry’

This really is a lovely, amusing story that would delight kids, yet it also has some lovely messages that a child would pick up and assimilate without even realising they were there. This is a truly delightful poem.

Sue

Geddy25 wrote 696 days ago

CHIRG
Just read the poem and found it delightful.
I love the way it tells the story from the viewpoint of the dogs through the whole day while their owners are away.
You have done well to fit the story into the rhyming format, though a few of the words I thought might cause a problem for younger children (in my opinion of course). These were: dogmatic, aghast, forlorn, emphasized, unfurrowed. There were a few others I thought were "on the limit".
All in all, I thought the idea and the poem were great. I can imagine it with lots of illustrations in a book.
Good luck with this!
Mike.
("Way Back To Devil's Mountain" & "Blitzen Goes Bananas")

klouholmes wrote 701 days ago

CHIRG review

Hi Jane, Some traditions will work anew. And young children are new to rhyme and rhythm. Your stanzas are very enjoyable and without forcing rhyme, they draw pictures of these dogs while narrating a story. I especially liked stanzas like:
With paper still looped round his neck and his feet
Dog-tired and woeful, George admitted defeat...
You do have a knack for fitting this all into a form so that it feels natural for the reader or the read-to - and children do like rhythm. It's easy to envision this story's illustration and how it would entrance a child. Shelved - Katherine

sticksandstones wrote 719 days ago

CHIRG Review:

Hi Jane, this kind of storybook reminds me very much of similar rhyming tales I read (and was told) as a young child. I think perhaps (like Tim Burton's wonderful Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy) you may need to come up with a series of poems that all cover common themes. It's notoriously difficult to get poetry published . . .

There are plenty of UK wide poetry competitions which are open to submissions at a small cost. I'd certainly suggest seeking some out. I'm also no expert, but I did start out writing poetry and I love animals, although I'm much more a Cat person. I think your contrast between male/female, one big and one small, is excellent.

Your language (aside from the rhyme) is in itself very poetic. There's a good amount of imagery - always important for Children's rhymes. I believe Roald Dahl wrote a book of rhymes, but obviously his illustrations were done by the fabulous Quentin Blake. I think George's question is a fine and pertinent one.

All-over hair made me smile, kids will love this. Basket and Ascot are an odd rhyming couplet. I don't think younger children are going to understand the reference. You need to delete 'spend' after 'Mum spent' otherwise it doesn't make sense. There are a couple of places where the rhythm goes off pace a little.

This is a wonderful poem with plenty to like. You even reminded me of the Andrex puppy adverts. My only reservation is it feels like a one off - are there any more poems to come? Have you written across a variety of themes? I do think, with added illustrations, this could be something quite special. One for small pet lovers.

Ben - Franky Frog's Worldwide Travelogue

Tod Schneider wrote 722 days ago

A sweet tale in rhyme that is sure to set some tails wagging!
Anyone who has loved their pets no doubt will find this warm and nostalgic.
Best of luck with this!
Tod
http://authonomy.com/books/40646/the-lost-wink/

Chris Whitson wrote 730 days ago

Hi Jane, I love dogs and all animals. My daughter has a rescue ranch and I support her wholeheartedly. She will appreciate this even more than I. And I loved it! What a unique concept as I had a first hand/paw dogs-eye-veiw of what they must feel like. Separation anxiety, leads to abuse and abandonment in many cases. Hmmmm, similar to humans with mental illness.
Your beautifully written words are so touching and are the perfect way to teach kids and adults to be understanding, compassionate, and kind to all God's creations. Your rhymes are so smooth and engaging, kids, parents and teachers will adore this book. I can't wait to see the illustrations! This book should be available at animal clinics and rescues. In a perfect world, everyone should get a copy when they pick out their new pet.
Thank you soooo much for this purposeful pet loving story.
I give it 6 stars and "4 paws up" as it hit a home run with me!
God Bless the you, Mollie and George.
Chris/ A SPICY HURRICANE

Debbie R wrote 739 days ago

CHIRG review

This is a lovely, humorous poem. I am sure most dog owners wonder what their pets get up to when they are left home alone. This is something that would be wonderful to read out loud to children - they really engage with rhythm and rhyme and the subject matter is just right.

'With paper still lopped round his neck and feet
Dog-tired and woeful, George admitted defeat'

I can just picture some canine illustrations to complement this very amusing poem.

Starring highly and wishing you well with this.

Debbie
'Speedy McCready'

ELAdams wrote 766 days ago

CHIRG review:

This is a delightful story for children, and I'm sure that the illustrations will work beautifully with it. I'm no poet, but it seemed to me that your verse had a lovely flow to it, and the rhymes work very well. Children love rhyming poems, and this would be great to read aloud.

Overall I couldn't find anything to criticise - six stars from me!

Emma

Lucy Middlemass wrote 766 days ago

This is a CHIRG review

The Other Side of The Window

This is really lovely. There are lots of clever rhymes; I particularly liked waste-paper basket and Ascot. The first verse is my favourite - the miss and a mister is so sweet. Poor George and sensible Mollie - I can imagine little children enjoying this so much. I read it out loud and the rhythm works pretty well as far as I can tell.

Just a few things I wondered about, all pretty minor;

Why are the humans called mother and father? It’s a bit confusing - they don’t seem to be anyone’s parents. I was waiting for some children to appear.
“Mum spent spend hours just rubbing her tummy” Just a typo.
Bathtubs - would one bathroom ever have more than one bath?
“through the cushions he plowed” and “through the air flew” seem a bit backwards, but I can see why you needed the words in this order to make them rhyme.

An easy six stars for a very enjoyable story. Well done!

Lucy

grahamwhittaker wrote 781 days ago

Jane. I love it. We share a similar history (radio, ad writing etc) As a 40 year veteran in that field I know how it can seem a lot. When you churn out 300 30 sec ads in a day and write 'live' scripts for the suits, it makes you a writer. I brought up my son and a whole bunch of fostered kids on stories and poems. This is a beautiful example of what kids love. As an illustrated book you have a winner and kids will adore it. Because we both seem to share the love of this kind of work I'll just give you a taste of our similarities. This deserves to be published and you have a genre that's wide open for you. Not something that fits the ebook format, but it would look great as a "pop up' . I don't think this will reach the ED but not because of it's quality and that is a shameful problem with authonomy I think. This is something I would be prepared to back personally with a limited print run in paper format. The overriding factor would be price and what parents would pay. I wish there were more like you writing this kind of product. My own current work http://www.authonomy.com/books/44026/the-girl-from-kosovo/ is well outside this genre but I'll punt it to you anyway. No obligations to read or comment. Just keep writing this genre. It's lovely
ROLLY RAT

Earl Sebastian Whittaker would never clean his room.
It had been a month of Sundays and looked just like a tomb.
Bits of food and dirty socks, and grime around the walls.
Playthings from a year ago and broken footy balls.
Rats a-scratching through the piles of rubbish all round.
And Earl Sebastian snoring… the only living sound.

Rolly Rat lived just beneath the dirty, greasy sheet.
A half an inch from Earl Sebastian’s sleeping smelly feet.
Now rodents never really mind just what they nibble at,
And Rolly was very, very hungry little rat.

All he’d had to eat today was half a rotten pear,
A mouldy chip, an apple core, some chewing gum…. with hair.
The sleeping toe looked warm and fresh although a little smelly,
And gee! Rolly was hungry … there was rumbling in his belly.

So Rolly took a little nibble …oh! That tasted good!
It had been so long since Rolly’s food had tasted as it should.
Earl Sebastian Whittaker still lay in repose.
While Rolly took another bite of Earl Sebastian’s toes.
First the big toe disappeared, and then the second toe,
And then the third, and then the fourth … only one to go.
But Earl Sebastian never even noticed through his doze.
That Rolly rat was getting fat on Earl Sebastian’s toes.

When Earl awoke he noticed that his foot had sort of … gone.
Instead of two bits on his legs, now there was just one.
He searched around the cluttered mess, but no foot could be found.
And Rolly Rat quietly sat … not making a sound.

“Mum!” Cried Earl. “Hey Mum! My foot has disappeared!
It must be around somewhere! It’s really rather weird.
It was here when I went to bed, but it’s nowhere to be seen.
And now instead of standing up … I sort of … well I LEAN!”

He searched his room from top to toe …
Oh dear! That was a pun!
But Earl thought it was dreadful … not one iota fun.
He checked in every corner and swept up all the dust.
“I’ve got to find my foot!” He wailed. “I really, really must!”
“I’ll clean and polish, dust and shine, and tidy up my gear.”
“It can’t be very far away, it must be very near!”
But Earl could never find his foot, polish as he would.
He even used a microscope … but that was just no good.

The moral of this story of sadness and of gloom,
Is … make sure that it’s tidy before you set foot in your room.

maretha wrote 781 days ago

Dear Jane, I still have to find a child that does not like to rhyme. My granddaughter drives me insane with constant ways of finding something to rhyme, so she will love the dogs and their story in rhyme a lot. You have a gift, even with your second poem, "Don't let your parents read this book." Also well done. High stars and keep rhyming!
Don't be stressed,do your best, get ahead like the rest on Authonomy - no less :-)
Maretha/African Adventures of Flame, Family, Furry and Feathered Friends

benedict wrote 786 days ago

CHIRG Review

Hi there Jane!

I really enjoyed this - as a big fan of picture books for kids. It has a nice old fashioned feel to it which I found rather refreshing.

You use language very well and on the whole your rhyme scheme and metre work efficiently. I liked the subject matter and you gave real character to the two dogs. It would work even better with illustrations no doubt.

I have some corrections and suggestions as I think that there are some times when the rhythm could use some tweaking but these are just my ideas and you can take them or leave them.

Close Corrections:

But you'd always get both if for either you’d call.
-such inversion in order to make the rhyme work is rather out of fashion in kids’ books these days and as it is the only time you do this in the whole piece perhaps you could find a way to avoid it

Everything THEY BOTH did - how they dressed, what they’d say.
-better for the rhythm would be

, say goodbye from their knees.
-not completely clear the meaning here

George's described his plan thus: “I'll make it up as I go.”
-George not George’s

- “We'll nap for a while, then FIND SOMETHING to chew,
-rhythm again,

-“You do what you like AND/BUT I’ll do this alone.”

He looked at the desk drawers, closed tight, with a frown.
- Commas to make meaning clear

George wouldn't rest 'til he'd searched every NOOK.
-line’s too long otherwise

His gaze swept the room, then spied THE waste basket,
-rhythm

He pawed through some papers and licked an old PEN
-for the rhythm

It didn't look good –IT sure didn't look neat.

“Please tell me one thing.” Mollie TRIED to be kind.

“I guess I don’t know,” HE admitted at last.
-avoids repetition of “George”

”I HAVE to keep searching,” he said, and then sneezed.
-avoids repetition of just

George finally stopped; there was no MORE to drag.
-rhythym

When the humans came home they'd say HE’D been bad.

The one by the window THROUGH which they WOULD stare.
-makes more grammatical sense

The humans drove up - THE dogs bathed in soft light.
-rhythm works better but not quite sure I've retained the meaning???

As he took it all in, father TURNED TO THE mother.

“I’VE NEVER GOT MAD since the day you were born
-avoids the double “not”

THE words she spoke next were, with love, emphasized.
-plus commas

George was STILL happy, WHAT she meant he had heard.

A lovely piece, six stars.

best of luck to you

Benedict

Neville wrote 788 days ago

CHIRG.

The Other Side of the Window.
By Jane Wilson.


I’ve always loved poetry from a very early age, so I know that children will enjoy your book.
It’s written for them in mind, simple, rhyming, and it flows along quite nicely in a friendly sort of way.
Of course at this stage, it’s lacking the colourful pictures that you intend to incorporate into the final book. I can visualise it in its finished state—a very interesting book for any child.
Well done, Jane and best wishes with it!
High stars for this!

Kind regards,

Neville. The Secrets of the Forest – The Time Zone.

JMF wrote 791 days ago

Hi Jane
I'm here for our reading swap and CHIRG review.
I loved your poem and I will return to read your other offering when I have more time. I love the subject matter of the two dogs waiting for their owners to come home. With some colourful illustrations this will go down well with young children.
I've never written poetry really so I am a complete amateur in this department, so please take the following comments as just the thoughts of a very inexperienced poetry reader!
I thought some of the lines need to be shortened or the words changed around to scan better. I read the poem aloud to get a feel for how it sounded.
"Everything that they did - how they dressed, what they'd say. - Maybe drop the that?
"Side by side snuggled close like a pod with two peas." Maybe "Snuggled side by side like a pod with two peas."
"His gaze swept the room then spied the waste basket" Drop father or dad - can't remember which it is!
"Eraser" Try and think of another item with two syllables.
I also notice a few "justs" that you don't need. I'm guilty of this myself. When I did a Find on Word a shocking 50 came up in my ms. I need to change that!
Keep just in "Like a flea in my ear. . . "
There are a few other sentences where the words seems quite complicated and need to be simplified down. Reading the poem aloud really helps decide if a sentence needs to be cut down in size or the word order changed slightly.
Anyway, as I say, I am a complete amateur and know nothing, so please feel free to ignore if these comments don't suit you.
I will return to read your other story.
I will WL your book and rate it highly because I think you have talented as a poet!
All the best
Julia
Shadow Jumper

JanAbel wrote 796 days ago

CHIRGI am not a poet - but it seems you would capture the interest of children especially if it was read aloud to them. I would use that idea in the pitch for your poem. thanks for the nice readl

Janice Abel - Brass Notes Over Wolf Creek

scargirl wrote 797 days ago

enjoyable read. nice for kids. fun to read it through dog's perspective...
j

Spilota wrote 798 days ago

Loved Jemima Lee's verse! I do hope there are more to come.

rikasworld wrote 799 days ago

That's a really sweet poem. True to life too. One of our dogs always came up, all anxious and virtuous, when we got home, looking at the other one in a kind of 'Look what she's done now!' sort of way.
I wondered if it would help the scan if you missed out the 'he was' when you say like a dog with a bone and a dervish awhirl?
Other than that | think children would absolutely love this as a picture book with suitably mayhem-like pictures. The ending would be very reassuring for children too. It's hard for them to understand worries and why they have an urge to do things that parents won't like.
Do you have an illustrator? I think this ought to be out with publishers! Lots of stars!

Sharda D wrote 799 days ago

Hi Jane,
a return read for your support of Mr Unusually's Circus of Dreams. Thanks again for that.
I liked both of these, Jane. I love the POV in the first, seeing everything from the dog's POV is unusual and clever and I'm sure children will love the deliciousness of the ways that the dogs see our way of life. Brilliant.
I thought the second poem, however, was one I could really see in print. It has a lovely naughtiness about it that i could see working really well with funny, gritty illustrations, similar to Mini Grey's style ('Biscuit Bear' and 'Traction Man'). It perhaps needs to be cut in half, seems a bit long for the average picture book and that will probably REALLY tighten it up. Then I should send it out again to some publishers and agents.
All the best with this,
6 stars from me,
Sharda.

Andrew Hughes wrote 801 days ago

Hi Jane,

I read through the poem and really enjoyed it. It’s very clever and funny and I think kids would love it. It’s a pity we can’t see illustrations on authonomy.

The characters of the dogs are beautifully drawn and many of the rhymes are unexpected and inventive.

Since it’s so fun to read, you hardly notice the occasional skip in beat, or extra syllable. I’m no expert in poetry but I’ve listed out a few examples early on where I thought lines didn’t scan quite right.

The rhythm seems to be much like ‘Twas the night before Christmas…’, where every third syllable is stressed - anapaestic tetrameter according to Wikipedia! Really this was just to my own ear so I could be way off.

1. I think the first line doesn’t have the same rhythm as the rest of the piece, and really the rhythm should be established here. The problem is George. If it was ‘Georgie’ it would scan better.

2. Perhaps 'dainty' instead of 'delicate'.
In instead of into.

4. Doggedly upsets the rhythm, but it’s too good an idea to leave out!

6. (The poor things weren’t blessed with all-over hair) is another great line but the rhythm is different.
Perhaps ‘with’ instead of ‘they’d grab’ and ‘They’d’ instead of ‘Then’.

9. Thoughtfully is a bit awkward.

11. ‘He was willing’ instead of ‘George was determined’.

Anyway, you get the idea – keeping that marching rhythm and the syllable count for each couplet as much as possible might make it scan smoother – but you might be better off not to be limited by so strict an approach.

Each of the subsequent stanzas have lovely ideas and images, like the dogs curled up with their owners in front of the TV. I liked how George preferred the wastebasket smells to the soaps. And the mother’s reaction to the mess is very touching.

It’s really good, and I could easily see it in print as a children’s picture book.

Best of luck with it,
Andrew.
The Morning Drop

Spilota wrote 802 days ago

This was an absolute and utter delight. I read it to myself aloud and thought all the time how much children would love to hear it. Chuckled at 'He studied them doggedly...'
I do hope you will write some more verses like this.

jlacoste wrote 804 days ago

A beautiful story, beautifully told. I absolutely love it. Well done!

patio wrote 804 days ago

I'm addicted to The Other Side of the Window. I'm back for more ...

Dianna Lanser wrote 804 days ago

Jane,

What a surprise that your story’s in rhyme! I wanted to be witty and write your review as a poem, but I couldn’t even manage two lines, let alone a whole story! I was absolutely amazed by your ability to come up with words that fit so perfectly.

When my kids were small, the books that were the first to be picked were the ones that rhymed: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, The early Berenstain Bear books, and of course, anything Dr. Seuss. No doubt your book would be a first pick at our house, especially since it is to be illustrated. It was good to read the progress your illustrator is making. How fun it must be to see your characters come to life.

The story itself is as endearing as the furry characters, George and Mollie. One can just imagine the anxiety poor George felt when his mum and dad left for the day, and there was nothing steady Mollie could do to comfort him. But just like any children’s book should end, all ends well, and George is reassured of his master’s love. Six stars!

Jane, you have quite a gift. I hope a publisher recognizes that soon!

Dianna Lanser
Nothing But The Blood

janiemw wrote 805 days ago

Jane, this is beautifully written, reminiscent of Dr. Seuss and Al Perkins (The Digging-est Dog). My kids would love this, especially with some cute illustrations to accompany the lyrical rhythm and rhyme.

My only suggestion is to read aloud if you haven't already. It seemed there were a few places where the rhythm was off slightly by a syllable or two.

Wonderful job. Highly starred.

Kate
Fade



Thanks so much for your comments Kate.
I'm constantly fiddling and tweaking to make it scan better and used your comments as impetus to tweak yet again. As a voice over performer I've got the skills to make it scan (tricks of timing and emphasis) but except for those who will hear the recorded version (and oh yes... there is a recorded version!) each small 'miss' is wedged in my mind like a popcorn husk stuck between my teeth.
So if you have time and want to try it out in your head again, I'd be anxious to hear your reaction.
I'll be reading your book too.
Many thanks,
Jane

Atieno wrote 806 days ago

Whoa Jane, You managed to make me smile and almost cry of sweetness!lol
Great great book!

Kate LaRue wrote 806 days ago

Jane, this is beautifully written, reminiscent of Dr. Seuss and Al Perkins (The Digging-est Dog). My kids would love this, especially with some cute illustrations to accompany the lyrical rhythm and rhyme.

My only suggestion is to read aloud if you haven't already. It seemed there were a few places where the rhythm was off slightly by a syllable or two.

Wonderful job. Highly starred.
Kate
Fade

Mr. Nom de Plume wrote 806 days ago

Lots of repeat but what is posted is excellent. You are onto a money maker here. Backed. Chuck

TDonna wrote 806 days ago

I'm a dog lover, so I couldn't pass this up. Adorable! Absolutely adorable! Thank you for posting it on here, what a pleasant treat (lol). Now I'm going to hug my precious apricot colored poodle for a mommy fix :)
TDonna
(No Kiss Good-bye)

Karamak wrote 807 days ago

As the owner of a dysfunctional secondhand dog who was given away because he couldn't be left on his own, I totally loved your doggy story! Beautiful and imaginative, would love to see illustrations. Karen Bates, Faking it in France.

patio wrote 807 days ago

Your poem is beautiful. I thoroughly enjoyed it

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