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BOW WOW MEOW MEOW by Douglas Florian Kirkus Star


It’s Rhyming Cats and Dogs

by Douglas Florian & illustrated by Douglas Florian

Age Range: 4 - 10

Pub Date: April 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-15-216395-6
Publisher: Harcourt

Florian continues his poetic exploration of the entire animal kingdom, last visited in lizards, frogs, and polliwogs (2001), with this seventh entry in his successful series, following the same distinctive format: a large, square size with each short poem facing a full-page illustration. The 21 poems (with all but one rhyming) include “Dog Log” and “Cat Chat” to introduce the reader to more general characteristics, nine poems about specific dog breeds, and one about cousin wolf. Ten additional poems are about cats, mainly larger, wild cats such as the cheetah, the ocelot, and the poetically named jaguarundi, who “likes to play in jaguarundi-wear.” Three selections are concrete poems, and a four-line poem, “The Dalmatian,” has every letter o filled in to create an additional kind of spot. Several of the poems end with a dash of Ogden Nash panache: the bloodhound with senses that are “scent-sational” or the one-line question-shaped poem about the ocelot: “Why ocelots have lots of spots puzzles ocelot.” Florian’s playful watercolor illustrations have their usual understated charm, with muted tones, bold lines, and clever touches of offbeat humor. It’s rhyming cats and dogs for sure, and the creative Florian poetic zoo continues to grow. (Poetry. 4-10)