Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

A Dazzling Display of Dogs

A Dazzling Display of Dogs

Betsy Franco
Illustrator:  Michael Wertz 
Poetry Picture Book
For ages 8 to 12
Tricycle Press, 2011   ISBN: 978-1582463438

Dogs provide love and companionship to millions of people around the world. They greet us when we come home, and somehow they know just what to do to cheer us up when we are feeling blue. In this unique book, Betsy Franco’s poems are paired with Michael Wertz’s artwork in such a way that the words and the art become one, and they give dog lovers of all ages a delightful canine-centric treat.

As they turn the pages, readers will meet Baloo, a pompom-ish poodle who manages to get out of his yard and who gets into Ms. Johnstons’ house, were he eats all kinds of things, including a teddy bear, a cupcake, a steak, a taco, and some popcorn.

Further on in the book, we get to meet Willy, a beagle who lives behind a fence that has a “Beware of Dog” sign on it. The funny thing is that Willy “rarely ever growls.” Instead, the “harmless beagle only yooooowls!”

Jake is quite different because he barks at everyone. He may be small, but this jack russell terrier “hasn’t been frightened by any dog yet.” Fearlessly he barks at friend and foe alike because he is a “barking machine.”

Then there is Gwen the bassett hound. Gwen is always going in and out the door, and her person faithfully opens and closes the door for her “again and again and again.”

This book will charm people who have dogs in their lives. Many of the doggy traits mentioned in the book will be familiar, and readers will be reminded of all the charming, infuriating, and funny things that dogs do that make our lives richer.

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