DEAR HOT DOG by Mordicai Gerstein


Poems about Everyday Stuff
Age Range: 4 - 7
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As the subtitle indicates, poetry and pictures about everyday stuff.

The title poem contains all the virtues of the collection. It's lyrical yet accessible ("You are so fragrant, / plump, and steamy"), poetic ("snug as a puppy / in your bready bun") and more than a little mischievous ("I squeeze the sunny / mustard up and down / your ticklish tummy"). There is mischief as well in some of the presentations. The four stanzas of "Summer Sun" travel downward in rays. "Water" requires readers to turn the book 90 degrees for a vertical two-page poem against a blue background, illustrated with submerged kids in swim fins. Other highlights include "Pillow" ("My pillow sleeps / all day, / dreaming it's / a cloud"), "Books" ("Books! / All sizes, all colors, / whispering, / 'Come inside! / Come inside!' "), "Crayons" ("My crayons pop / up in their box, / hands raised") and "Light" ("Where do you go / when it's dark? / Back into lightbulbs / when I turn them off?"). Anthropomorphism is a running theme—a particularly apt one for young children; Gerstein infuses humanity into a toothbrush, shoes, a bowl, a kite, leaves and an ice-cream cone. His acrylic illustrations are in harmony with his verses; sharp black lines and rich colors that spread outside their outlines, giving a dreamy yet vivid effect.

Twenty-two poems in all; an attractive and highly approachable introduction to poetry for young readers. (Picture book. 4-7)
Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-8109-9732-5
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Abrams
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2011


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