GOD GOT A DOG by Cynthia Rylant
Kirkus Star

GOD GOT A DOG

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 10 - 18

KIRKUS REVIEW

Several of the poems from Rylant’s wry meditation God Went to Beauty School (2003) are regathered, rearranged and luminously illustrated by Frazee.

Notably absent is the poem “God Is a Girl,” as Rylant has expanded that notion by occasionally regendering the deity so He becomes She in roughly half the poems. In the titular poem, readers learn that “She never meant to. / … / She was always working / and dogs needed so / much attention. / God didn’t know if She / could take being needed / by one more thing.” Frazee’s illustrations take the idea of the multiplicity of God in all of us and run with it, depicting Him or Her as a black, tattooed nail artist; a middle-aged white woman eating by herself; a little dark-skinned boy on roller skates (with hair sticking straight! up!); a bearded, dark-skinned dude playing poker with Gabriel; a homeless black woman. An illustration appears opposite each poem, allowing readers to stop and ponder each of God’s earthly aspects. Divinity is indicated with a faint halo, but Frazee never sacrifices the ineffable humanity of each depiction; her Gods are fat, skinny, joyful, contemplative, worn-out. Readers will be glad and relieved when they turn the final page to learn that, having adopted Ernie the dog, God now “has somebody / keeping Her feet warm at night.”

Funny, devout and oh, so human; this collection hits home. (Poetry. 10 & up)

Pub Date: Oct. 29th, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-4424-6518-3
Page count: 48pp
Publisher: Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2013




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