Good Dog

Book review by
Patricia Tauzer, Common Sense Media
Good Dog Book Poster Image
Free verse Who's Who of cuddly canines.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Violence & Scariness
Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the friendly little Westie on the cover is just the beginning. Dog lovers especially will be completely captivated by this free verse version of who's who in the dog world. Those who are not yet friends with man's best friend will probably change their minds.

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What's the story?

Coupled with a painting of an appropriate dog, playful free-verse text tells what each pet might be thinking, and saying, to its owner.

Is it any good?

Amazingly, the free-verse poetry here gives a very real, yet subtle and sensitive, introduction to each of 16 breeds of dogs, from the Westie to the mutt. In simple and straightforward language, the Westie shows he aims to please while, in words that are scratching and tumbling over one another, the springer spaniel just wants to play. The Chihuahua is full of frenetic energy, a Pomeranian bewildered by an embarrassing hair-do, and a Scottie tale-wagging-ly excited to be out in the snow. Recited in the voice of each dog, the mood is lighthearted and friendly, the message is a "get to know me" plea.

Playful pencil sketches and a full-paged painted portrait fill out the poetic presentation that makes each plea so totally engaging. Placed against a shiny, black enamel background, the paintings by Robert Rahway Zakanitch are remarkably expressive and endearingly full of compassionate appeal. The portraits alone make this a book worth picking up.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about, what else, DOGS! Each page, with its remarkable painting and free-verse expression, presents a new breed. Kids will have fun talking about the similarities and differences of the different dogs, choosing which one they like best, and talking about why. They can also talk about how the poetry expresses the different characteristics of each dog, and which pet would fit best in their household.

Book details

For kids who love dogs

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