cover image Dog Days: Rhymes Around the Year

Dog Days: Rhymes Around the Year

Jack Prelutsky. Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, $15 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-375-80104-4

Rhyming quatrains and whimsical pictures describe each month in a fun-loving dog's year in this good-natured collaboration. The tenor of Prelutsky's poems (The Gargoyle on the Roof) is affable but mild; the zaniness and linguistic play that characterize much of his work go missing here: ""It's very noisy in July,/ When fireworks light the evening sky./ Though I'm a patriot and proud,/ For ears like mine, it's much too loud""; or, ""It's late November, sing hooray,/ For now it is Thanksgiving Day./ I do not think that I can wait/ To taste that turkey on the plate."" Debut illustrator Wolcott is responsible for much of the book's merriment. Taking creative liberties with perspective, she renders the pup in amusing poses: riding the March winds, he flies through the air alongside kites; with other costumed dogs, he cavorts in the beams of flashlights on Halloween night; and in January he sleds on a field of snow in a scene that looks as busy and kinetic as an amusement-park ride. Kids will want to return to her brightly patterned pictures to spot all the playful details she has planted. Ages 2-7. (Aug.)