105 Ways to Give a Book

Poetry Friday: A Dazzling Display of Dogs

I’m not a big fan of dogs, or poetry for that matter, though I had dogs growing up and I’ve explored poetry as a grown-up. However, I am a fan of cleverness and art and words, all of which combine in this masterful book, A Dazzling Display of Dogs, written by Betsy Franco and illustrated by Michael Wertz.

A Dazzling Display of DogsTributes to the messy, crazy, quirky, and endearing qualities of the canine are merged with creative artistic styling, moving the words beyond concrete poems and into illustration itself. The contrasting palette of blues and oranges — opposites on the color spectrum, look it up — make the pictures pop with a retro look, while subtle tones on the scale give other pages a dreamlike feel. Throughout the book the words are incorporated into the illustrations so that words and art enhance each other in an almost inseparable way. For instance, I can’t even share my favorite poem here, because it would lose half of its effect by not have the words contained with the shapes of seven flying seagulls. So instead:
When Lucy the Cat Came to My Home

When i saw that the squirt
Was here to stay,
That she certainly wasn’t
Going away,
i concluded we had to
And the thing to do was
(on cold, dark nights
her purring’s great!)
Even in this poem, I have to mention that round shapes around the cuddling animals heads form the Os in COOPERATE. And that the poem is written in all caps, except for the i’s, which are lowercase. But if I copied that exact format online it would look like I was shouting, while instead on the page it invites the reader to share in a special moment of acceptance. A fantastic book for dog-lovers certainly, but also for connoisseurs of Art and Words and Poetry.

Poetry Friday is hosted today at A Wrung Sponge. And by the way, I must mention that it’s... Friday, friday! Gotta get down on Friday! Everybody’s lookin’ forward to the weekend, weekend!

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Mary Lee said...

I've heard lots about this book now...can't wait to see it for myself!

(thanks for the video, even though I watched it on Saturday, the day after...)

Mary Ann Scheuer said...

I adored this book, as well. In the school library, I used a document camera to blow it up large to show it to students. It's also a hard book to read aloud! But so much fun, it's worth the extra effort.

Suzanne Casamento said...

I love books that combine words and art. This book sounds great!