________________ CM . . . . Volume XVIII Number 21. . . .February 3, 2012

cover

Do You Have a Dog?

Eileen Spinelli. Illustrated by Geraldo Valério.
Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, 2011.
26 pp., hardcover, $16.00.
ISBN 978-0-8028-5387-5.

Subject Headings:
Stories in rhyme.
Dogs-Fiction.
Biography-Fiction.

Preschool-grade 3 / Ages 4-8.

Review by Jonine Bergen.

**1/2 /4

   

excerpt:

Do YOU have a dog?
A dog who races for the mail?
Or one who chases his own tail?
A yappy dog who barks at crows?
A happy dog who licks your nose?

A sloppy dog? A dainty one?
A dog who digs through trash for fun?
A dog who naps all afternoon?
Or howls at the autumn moon?
Do you have a dog?

 

Eileen Spinelli and Geraldo Valério continue their successful partnership with their newest picture book, Do You Have a Dog? Following the pattern established in Do You Have a Cat? and Do You Have a Hat? the duo combines bright bold graphics with simple repetitive poetry.

internal art     As with the previous titles, Spinelli introduces young children to a variety of famous and lesser known historical figures this time through their relationships to their dogs. Further information about each pair of characters can be found on the endsheets of the book. Spinelli is not as successful, however, with the rhymes or the cadence in her vignettes. At times, the rhymes feel forced, and the meter varies from page to page which is distracting to the reader and slows the tempo of the read-aloud. Further, her choice of word combinations occasionally trips the tongue.

     Valério admirably interprets Spinelli's simple text on each two-page spread. With vivid acrylics and bold, almost cartoony strokes, Valério invites the reader to look deeper into his pictures to see further nuances to the story being told. For the child who likes "I spy" games, Valério has playfully hidden a group of friends on each spread.

      Although not as strong a book as their previous incarnations, Do You Have a Dog? will be a much-thumbed choice with its child-focused theme and colourful, whimsical art.

Recommended.

Jonine Bergen is a librarian in Winnipeg, MB, who is proud to say I do have a dog and yes, my dog has me.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.
 

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