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MY DOG MAY BE A GENIUS by Jack Prelutsky


by Jack Prelutsky & illustrated by James Stevenson

Age Range: 5 - 10

Pub Date: March 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-06-623862-3
Publisher: Greenwillow

Two grand masters team up to produce a decidedly goofy illustrated poetry anthology. Prelutsky, who must surely dream in iambs, so plentifully do they fall from his pen, offers some 100 plus poems on subjects varying from pets to imaginary beasties. He’s totally cued in to childish solipsism: Just about half of the poems begin with “I” or “my.” Stevenson’s quick pen-and-ink vignettes appear equally effortless, lumpy elephants and hapless children staring benignly from the page. Some of the poems, in form or in wordplay, are unquestionably inspired. “The Call of the Longwinded Clumsy Owl” consists of one word—“WHOOPS”—rendered with enough intervening Os to occupy the whole page; “When the Butcher Was Delivered” asks readers to consider the punny possibilities in otherwise unrelated words. Still, one must wonder if the book would pack more of a punch if it were about half as long. Too many of the poems consist of rhyming couplets in lockstep rhythms that dwell on mild sillinesses, resulting in an uneven collection in which the only-pretty-good overwhelms the truly-great. (Poetry. 5-10)