Author Schmidt has crafted 16 poems, in different forms, about school, and aside from a couple of canine-specific outliers, any of these could be about a child’s school day.
For children and dog lovers alike, Illustrator Schmidt’s photographs of dogs and adorable puppies will be the biggest draw here. Posed in school scenes, sometimes with props, many of his pups express their emotions with their eyes and ears, even if only to communicate to the photographer, “Why are you doing this to me?” The verses offer readers a mix of poetic forms, some of which will be well-known and others that will be new: acrostic, cinquain, quatrain, climbing rhyme, haiku and monorhyme among them. They focus on common school-day routines—from riding the bus, using the hallway pass, lunch and recess to academic subjects (spelling, math, reading, science, geography) and specials (art, music, library). There are even some naughty “students”—one who ate his homework and two suspects in a shoe-chewing incident.
Though some may dub the collection doggerel, dog lovers beginning school will be enchanted. (Picture book/poetry. 3-7)