by Andrew Clements (Author) Tim Bowers (Illustrator)

Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade
A tale in haiku
of one adorable dog.
Let's find him a home.

Wandering through the neighborhood in the early-morning hours, a stray pooch follows his nose to a back-porch door. After a bath and some table scraps from Mom, the dog meets three lovable kids. It's all wags and wiggles until Dad has to decide if this stray pup can become the new family pet. Has Mooch finally found a home? Told entirely in haiku by master storyteller Andrew Clements, this delightful book is a clever fusion of poetry and puppy dog.

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Publishers Weekly

Clements "(Lunch Money)" cleverly combines haiku and an endearing canine protagonist in this jaunty tale, written primarily from the pooch's perspective. After the friendly creature arrives on the doorstep of a family's home, the mother lets him inside and tends to his needs: First food, then a bath./ The food was a lot more fun./ Still, it all feels good. As the animal happily accepts scraps at the breakfast table, an important topic surfaces: A dog needs a name./ Rags? Mutt? Pooch? No, not Rover./ Mooch. Yes, Mooch! Perfect. The pup is bored when the kids go off to school and their mother is outdoors gardening, but Mooch soon finds a solution (Chew on dirty socks./ Roll around in week-old trash./ Ahhh... that's much better). Sitting in on a family meeting, Mooch mistakenly overhears the word pound and is fretful when the father drives off in his car. But the new pet is overjoyed when the man returns with propitious purchases: A new doggy bed!/ Food, a bowl, a squeaky toy!/ Mooch has found his home. Never forced, Clements's nimbly crafted verse flows freely and delivers ample humor. Bowers's animated oil paintings comically capture the playful pup's antics, revealing Mooch in the tub, eagerly shaking water and suds all over the mother; smiling while riding in the car, his head stuck out the window; and half submerged in the overturned garbage can. A spirited demonstration of the versatilityand funof haiku. Ages 4-8. "(June)" Copyright 2007 Publishers Weekly Used with permission.

School Library Journal

K-Gr 4A stray dog's first day in a family's home is more or less a test of whether he'll get to stay. Of course, the innocent creature lives entirely in the moment, and the human perspective doesn't come into play until the end. Clements shadows the pup closely and maintains a canine's view of everythingfood, loving pals, bath time, sunshine, shade, the lure of garbage and household objects to chew, the loneliness of the school bus leaving, and the joy when it returns. The story is familiar but still entirely fresh due to Clements's original presentation. He tells the entire tale in haiku, a remarkably effective vehicle for delivering such a sweet and simple story. The family's deliberation over what to call the dog is captured perfectly with the form's structure: "A dog needs a name./Rags? Mutt? Pooch? No, not Rover./Mooch. Yes. Mooch! Perfect." While each haiku is typically spare, Bowers's vibrant illustrations are busy and bright, filling the pages with the same unbounded energy as the lovable pooch. This joyful tale is guaranteed to evoke storytime cheers."Gloria Koster, West School, New Canaan, CT" Copyright 2007 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.
Andrew Clements
Andrew Clements (1949-2019) was the author of the enormously popular Frindle. More than 10 million copies of his books have been sold, and he was nominated for a multitude of state awards, including a Christopher Award and an Edgar Award. His popular works include About Average, Troublemaker, Extra Credit, Lost and Found, No Talking, Room One, Lunch Money, and more. He was also the author of the Benjamin Pratt & the Keepers of the School series. Find out more at

Adam Stower has a rich imagination and loves fantasy and adventure stories. He studied illustration at the Norwich School of Art and Design and at the University of Brighton, and lives with his daughter in Brighton, England.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date
June 20, 2007
Buckaroo Book Award
Nominee 2008 - 2009
North Carolina Children's Book Award
Nominee 2009 - 2009
Black-Eyed Susan Award
Nominee 2008 - 2008
Beehive Awards
Winner 2009 - 2009
Young Hoosier Book Award
Nominee 2010 - 2010
South Carolina Childrens, Junior and Young Adult Book Award
Nominee 2009 - 2010
Kentucky Bluegrass Award
Winner 2009 - 2009
Monarch Award
Nominee 2012 - 2012
Golden Sower Award
Honor Book 2010 - 2010

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