Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978



Dogku

Dogku

Fall 2007 Poetry
Ages: 4 - 8 yrs.
Author: Andrew Clements
Illustrator: Tim Bowers
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
ISBN: 068985823X
Hardcover Price: $16.99
Review:
Dogku is a clever and sweet little story about a stray dog who finds a loving home. Such plots are a staple of childrenĀ¹s literature and entertainment, but what sets this book apart is the method of telling the tale--each page is written in haiku. Each haiku, written by Andrew Clements, is spare and graceful, capturing the essence of being a dog (or a child, or part of a family) in exactly 17 syllables. For example, Clements writes: "Morning brings children. / Hugs, licks, barking, and laughing. / Warmer than sunshine." The oil on canvas illustrations by Tim Bowers are just as warm and cheerful as the text. There is a helpful author's note at the end of the book, giving a simple and enthusiastic explanation of haiku for the child reader. Here, Clements compares both haiku and picture books to a small container-"not many pages, not many words"--finding them to be compatible forms for choosing just the right words and arrangements. A novel way for young children to experiment with language.
Zarina Mullan Plath   ©2007 Parents' Choice
Zarina Mullan Plath has undergraduate degrees in both biology and English. Her interests include cookbooks/culinary history, South Asian literature (especially in regards to South Asians in America), and, of course, children's literature. Her poetry is included in the anthology Sweeping Beauty (U. of Iowa Press, 2005). Zarina lives in Central Illinois with her husband, two children, and assorted pets.


Share This