By Betsy Franco, Michael Wertz, Illustrator, Tricycle Press, $16.99, 40 pages
I’m not sure who will like this more – poetry lovers or dog lovers. Either way you’ll enjoy this collection of canine poems accompanied by whimsical illustrations. A Dazzling Display of Dogs is a poetry book that lives up to the title.
Betsy Franco has collected 34 poems that celebrate what it’s like to be a dog. She addresses topics like obedience school, backyard break-outs, and adoption of pets. But she does it with rhyme and words that seem to capture the true essence of dogs. Franco writes about many breeds and expertly weaves them into her work. The Pekinese, Bassett, Dachshund, Poodle, Pomeranian, Chihuahua, and Maltese all show up.
The illustrations are the icing on the cake. Illustrator Michael Wertz has done an amazing job using Franco’s words to enhance his illustrations. For example, Old Lottie on a Walk is about an adventure a dog takes around the block. Wertz cleverly places the words inside the illustrated neighborhood and they follow Lottie’s path through town. This style engages the reader and lets them take an active role in reading. Teachers can use the basic framework of the book, but expand the idea by writing poems about cats and illustrate. Enjoy!
Reviewed by Elizabeth Franklin