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
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.
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)