cover image BOW WOW MEOW MEOW: It's Rhyming Cats and Dogs

BOW WOW MEOW MEOW: It's Rhyming Cats and Dogs

Douglas Florian, . . Harcourt, $17 (56pp) ISBN 978-0-15-216395-2

Florian fans will be delighted with another edition of his funny, punny poems about animals. This time, the focus is on dogs and cats. Like an American Kennel Club judge, Florian focuses on one breed at a time. "The Chihuahua" certainly "can bark a brouhaha" and "The Bloodhound" has "senses [that] are/ Scent-sational." Domestic and wild breeds sit side by side: "The Lion" has a most "fur-ocious roar," and "The Jaguarundi" likes "to play/ In jaguarundi-wear" (it dribbles a basketball dressed in blue briefs). As usual, Florian depicts the subjects in quirkily apt illustrations that distill the essence of his subjects. In the line drawing of a dalmation, he dots both chair and dog with Jackson Pollack–like black spatters. The "fleet [and] fast" cheetah, whose "four furry feet/ have already passed," appears with only his hindquarters remaining in the illustration. Like a medical school anatomical drawing, "The Dog Log" shows the dog's brain mapped out with areas labeled "Fetch," "Smells," "Bones" and more. While a few paintings may seem over the top (e.g., the bloodhound is surrealistically depicted as having a nose that houses a smaller hound), most are exceedingly clever. Even the typography plays a part in the humor, as in the curlicue lines of "The Poodles" ("Poodles have oodles and oodles of curls,/ Which makes poodle boys look like poodle girls"). Ages 5-10. (Apr.)