cover image A Dazzling Display of Dogs

A Dazzling Display of Dogs

Betsy Franco, illus. by Michael Wertz, Random/Tricycle, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-58246-343-8

In an exuberant collection of concrete dog poems, a follow-up to A Curious Collection of Cats, the whimsy of Franco's poems is matched by the modern-meets-retro collages into which they are integrated. The titular dog in "Apollo at the Beach" yaps at a flock of seagulls, upon which the poem is printed: "he charges and barks,/ chasing them,/ chasing their shadows,/ wishing he'd sprout wings," while "The Words Waffle Hears" fill speech bubbles ("Sit/ Walk/ Treat/ Squirrel/ Down/ Bad/ Good/ Girl!"). Franco and Wertz persuasively convey canine behavior, from devoted companion to inner wolf, as well as the trials and treasured moments familiar to many owners. Dog lovers won't want to miss this clever, jubilant gem. All ages. (Jan.)