Thursday, March 5, 2009

Loose Leashes

Poems by Amy Schmidt;
Photographs by Ron Schmidt

Random House

This is a book that no dog lover should be without! A collection of sixteen delightful poems are accompanied by some of the sweetest, funniest and most adorable dog photos ever. Truly a great collection that will tickle your funny bone.

Our group of kids were convulsed in laughter on the floor at the photos, let alone the poems. Several different breeds and all different sizes of dogs are featured doing all types of activities. We find dogs wearing glasses, towel turbans and skates. These dogs are bathing, sledding and boating. All this means the readers are left pointing, smiling and exclaiming.

Sharing this type of poetry with kids is a great way to get them laughing and having fun. They discover that it's possible to have fun with poetry, which leads to realizing it can also be fun to write poems. As far as kids are concerned, there is no learning here, but rather a group of personable dogs and silly stories.

As far as the photos are concerned - this is a top-notch collection of great variety - from sweet Chihuahuas sharing a bone to a lumberjack Labrador Retriever with a pine tree strapped across his back. The dogs' personalities come across in their expression and stature, with each name noted in the lower left corner. Accordingly, each poem is custom fit to the dog - some short and sweet, other longer and flowing. All wonderful!

The book is thoroughly enjoyable and provides a great introduction to poetic verse. Children will be drawn in by the photos and fall in love with the poetry. Truly this would be the jewel in the collection of any dog lover.

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