cover image Dear Hot Dog

Dear Hot Dog

Mordicai Gerstein. Abrams, $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8109-9732-5

Two-time Caldecott Medalist Gerstein praises life's simple joys and unsung objects in poems and loosely rendered acrylics, as the trio of speakers in his poems lovingly personify their subjects. In one, a girl looks sadly at her toes, lamenting: Toes:/ We've become strangers/ this winter./ I almost never/ see you." When the same child later licks a melting ice-cream cone, she announces, "I hold you high/ against the sky/ like Liberty's torch." Gerstein's keen observations and unrhymed phrases offer a window into a world in which autumn leaves fall "to the ground/ like a blanket of colorful,/ crispy cornflakes," and a toothbrush has a foamy, gargling life of its own. Ages 3%E2%80%937. (Aug.)