The delightfully understated illustrations expand the appeal of this poetry collection, creating a cohesive canine community.

READ REVIEW

BARK IN THE PARK!

POEMS FOR DOG LOVERS

Dozens of dogs and their owners meet and greet one another in this poetry collection that includes one poem for each of 38 different dog breeds.

The canine subjects range from tiny lap dogs to popular choices for family pets as well as working dogs such as a German shepherd serving as a police dog. There are no examples of dogs aiding people with disabilities. The rhyming poems range from two to four lines, describing characteristics of each breed or offering some amusing commentary on typical behavior or reputation. The poems’ subjects alternate between male and female dogs, thoughtfully including females for some of the larger breeds. Most of the poems are humorous and cleverly rhymed, with a few that must be read carefully to understand the wordplay or unusual rhyming word pairs. Charming illustrations in watercolor and colored pencil include people of many ages and ethnicities as well as a pair of mischievous squirrels who appear throughout. Another visual connecting device is provided by a little girl in a pink dress and her dad, both with light skin and dark hair, who are seen on every spread, enjoying a day out together and interacting with the dogs in various ways. These two return home to conclude the collection with a poem about being friends with all sorts of dogs, including mutts.

The delightfully understated illustrations expand the appeal of this poetry collection, creating a cohesive canine community. (Picture book/poetry. 3-7)

Pub Date: March 26, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-11839-1

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Orchard/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Nov. 21, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2018

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A $16.99 Mother’s Day card for cat lovers.

MOMMIES ARE AMAZING

The team of Costain and Lovšin (Daddies are Awesome, 2016) gives moms their due.

Rhyming verses tell of all the ways moms are amazing: “Mommies are magic. / They kiss away troubles… // …find gold in the sunlight / and rainbows in bubbles.” Moms are joyful—the best playmates. They are also fearless and will protect and soothe if you are scared. Clever moms know just what to do when you’re sad, sporty moms run and leap and climb, while tender moms cuddle. “My mommy’s so special. / I tell her each day… // … just how much I love her / in every way!” Whereas dads were illustrated with playful pups and grown-up dogs in the previous book, moms are shown as cats with their kittens in myriad colors, sizes, and breeds. Lovšin’s cats look as though they are smiling at each other in their fun, though several spreads are distractingly cut in half by the gutter. However delightful the presentation—the verse rolls fairly smoothly, and the cats are pretty cute—the overall effect is akin to a cream puff’s: very sweet and insubstantial.

A $16.99 Mother’s Day card for cat lovers. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 4, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-62779-651-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: March 20, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2017

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Children of all ages will be charmed by this collection that demonstrates that poet-translators often make the best...

A LITTLE BITTY MAN

AND OTHER POEMS FOR THE VERY YOUNG

A charming collection of poems finds an American audience in a splendid translation.

Though unknown to the vast majority of American readers, Rasmussen (1915-2002) was a beloved Danish poet, known both for his human-rights writings as well as nonsense verse for children. A sweet compendium of the latter is translated here by the award-winning Nelson and Espeland and animated by Hawkes’ dynamic, colorful acrylic-and-pencil renderings, effectively capturing the playfulness of Rasmussen’s verse in both sound and image. As he explores life’s many processes, activities and imagined situations, Rasmussen’s delightfully warped sense of humor is in full view. It ranges from potty humor—“Feet are to jump on, / drums are to thump on. / Tiptoes to snoop on, / and potties to poop on!”—to outright silliness—“The elf puts on his winter coat […] and then, before he goes, / puts on an empty ice-cream cone / to insulate his nose.” But the poet also does not shy away from more serious subjects, such as the cultivation of friendships, using a light touch to convey his pacifist message: “Those fierce grown-up soldiers / who shoot guns and fight / should learn from us children / to fight a war right. / First, fight with toy guns. / Then, if your war won’t end, / you tickle your enemy / into a friend!”

Children of all ages will be charmed by this collection that demonstrates that poet-translators often make the best ambassadors. (Picture book/poetry. 3-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-7636-2379-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: July 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2011

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