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My Dog May Be a Genius
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My Dog May Be a Genius

4.7 4
by Jack Prelutsky, James Stevenson (Illustrator)

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Have you ever encountered an underwater marching band, a pig in a bathing suit, a pet orangutan, or a witch in a hardware store? Have you ever sat with a skunk in a courtroom, shopped for a dinosaur, or conversed with a Bupple, a Wosstrus, a Violinnet, or a Celloon? You will have, once you've read this exuberant collaboration from Jack Prelutsky and his


Have you ever encountered an underwater marching band, a pig in a bathing suit, a pet orangutan, or a witch in a hardware store? Have you ever sat with a skunk in a courtroom, shopped for a dinosaur, or conversed with a Bupple, a Wosstrus, a Violinnet, or a Celloon? You will have, once you've read this exuberant collaboration from Jack Prelutsky and his "partner in crime" James Stevenson.

The "reigning czars of silliness" have once again teamed up to bring readers an irresistible collection of poems that will have tongues twisting, imaginations soaring, and sides aching with laughter. The result is genius, indeed.

Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Familiar yet inventive, exuberant and silly, this consistently fresh assortment of light verse and expressive cartoons lives up to the haute goofiness of the best Prelutsky/Stevenson work (The New Kid on the Block ). This collection of more than a hundred poems includes Prelutsky's distinctive mixture of real and fictitious animals, outlandish pets, wistfully subversive students and anti-establishment characters. There are enough verses about burping and homework to satisfy the usual suspects, but they'll also stick around to find their imaginations jump-started. Wordplay and nonsense include the alliterative items on Sandwich Sam's menu ("beetle beet banana blubber, chigger cheese chinchilla chalk") and the incomparable pun in the poem "Today It's Pouring Pythons," in which the ballgame is called "anaconda rain." Humor and whimsy abound, and Stevenson's clever art extends the comedy, but never overshadows the text. He somehow makes elephants look "extremely graceful,/ light and limber on their feet" in "I'm Dancing with My Elephants," and he can make eccentricity plausible, as when a father and son engage in their traditional July 4 buttering of their noses in "My Family's Unconventional." Like the words in the poem "Some Chickens," the pairings in this volume are "pure poultry in motion." Ages 5-up. (Mar.)

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Children's Literature
Have you ever ridden a griffin at midnight on a Monday? Have you ever eaten one of Sandwich Stan’s singular sandwiches? Have you ever met Ozzie Snozzer? No? You soon will, thanks to this new work by the much-loved Children’s Poet Laureate. This collection showcases Prelutsky’s talent for crisp and deceptively simple rhymes. His rollicking humor and quirky sense of fun shine brightly, and we are reminded of why Prelutsky is and deserves the title of the nation’s first Children’s Poet Laureate. Few words could describe the pleasure I had in reading this book. I have been a fan of Prelutsky’s works since I first read The New Kid on the Block. This latest book is for any and all. It is for those who wish to see Prelutsky’s experiments with language, both orally and visually. It is for the child in your life. Or it is for the child within us all, the part of us that truly wishes we could ride a griffin every Monday at midnight. This is a must have book in any school, public, or home library. Reviewer: Monserrat Urena
School Library Journal

K-Gr 5

In this delightful collection of poetry (Greenwillow, 2008) by the country's first-ever poet laureate for children, Jack Prelutsky, all the zany rhymes, alliteration, and exuberant silliness have been set to toe-tapping music played on a variety of instruments and performed by the author. With more than 100 poems sung by Prelutsky as well as original songs written and performed by the author, listeners will want to hear these silly selections again and again. Make sure to have the book available so listeners can enjoy James Stevenson's amusing illustrations.-Amy Joslyn, Fairport Public Library, NY

Kirkus Reviews
Two grand masters team up to produce a decidedly goofy illustrated poetry anthology. Prelutsky, who must surely dream in iambs, so plentifully do they fall from his pen, offers some 100 plus poems on subjects varying from pets to imaginary beasties. He's totally cued in to childish solipsism: Just about half of the poems begin with "I" or "my." Stevenson's quick pen-and-ink vignettes appear equally effortless, lumpy elephants and hapless children staring benignly from the page. Some of the poems, in form or in wordplay, are unquestionably inspired. "The Call of the Longwinded Clumsy Owl" consists of one word-"WHOOPS"-rendered with enough intervening Os to occupy the whole page; "When the Butcher Was Delivered" asks readers to consider the punny possibilities in otherwise unrelated words. Still, one must wonder if the book would pack more of a punch if it were about half as long. Too many of the poems consist of rhyming couplets in lockstep rhythms that dwell on mild sillinesses, resulting in an uneven collection in which the only-pretty-good overwhelms the truly-great. (Poetry. 5-10)

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
7.25(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.83(d)
Age Range:
6 - 10 Years

Read an Excerpt

My Dog May Be a Genius

My Dog May Be a Genius

My dog may be a genius,
and in fact, there's little doubt.
He recognizes many words,
unless I spell them out.
If I so much as whisper "walk,"
he hurries off at once
to fetch his leash . . . it's evident
my dog is not a dunce.

I can't say "food" in front of him,
I spell f-o-o-d,
and he goes wild unless I spell
his t-r-e-a-t.
But recently this tactic
isn't working out too well.
I think my d-o-g has learned
to s-p-e-l-l.

My Dog May Be a Genius. Copyright © by Jack Prelutsky. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Jack Prelutsky is the best-selling author of more than fifty books of poetry, including The New Kid on the Block, illustrated by James Stevenson, and Stardines Swim High Across the Sky, illustrated by Carin Berger. Jack Prelutsky lives in Washington State.

James Stevenson is an op-ed contributor to the New York Times. His popular column, "Lost and Found New York," has appeared regularly in the newspaper since 2003. He was on the staff of The New Yorker for more than three decades; his work includes 2,000 cartoons and 80 covers, as well as reporting and fiction. He is also the author and illustrator of over 100 children's books. He lives in Connecticut.

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My Dog May Be a Genius 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
MamaMitchell More than 1 year ago
The poems are short, surprising and very silly. When I read them to my grandchildren it makes them laugh out loud and we all have a good time. I recommend that these poems be served up to children with cookies and milk on the side and lots of laughter. This will teach them to enjoy poetry. I plan to buy the other book of children's poems titled "Pizza the Size of the Sun".
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just love these poems! They are great reading...and I love to share them with my kids. I teach, so I try to find books that my class will love. I got this book along with another hilarious book of poetry for kids called Nose Pickin' (and 50 Other Ways to Tickle Your Brain!). Hilarious stuff!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This collection of poetry, using animals as the central theme, is very inventive and witty. Just the scenarios alone show the authors imaginative mindset. This is a collection of verse that should be cherished for years to come.
Guest More than 1 year ago
in this story its quite a mixture of fantasies,illusions and great imaginations which the author makes sure that He/she will really make this an interesting one for the readers...Probabaly all the writers are thinking before they create a story is that they should consider with the the unuiqness in every story...With the writers they give distinctions,through their paterns...