|Courtesy of offthelibraryshelf.com|
|My sweet Randy|
|My happy Ralphie!|
The illustrations in Good Dog, by Robert Rahway Zakanitch, are realistic and rather simple. Each poem features a black and white charcoal drawing of a dog, as well as a full-bleed painted illustration of each dog amongst a black background. I feel that this sort of illustration highlights the importance of dogs, as it reminds me of the way a president's portrait would be painted.
|To be fair, I have a bunny, too!|
Good Dog is an excellent book of poems to be used in conjunction with fluency and expressive reading practice, especially for young readers and people who cherish their precious pooches. However, I wish the book had been a little longer, as there are sixteen poems, and all of them are relatively short. I would have preferred for the author to write about good dogs that may have come from a shelter and now to get to glorify in their new homes! I also would have enjoyed reading a selection of poetry focused on this topic that included a trifle more vivid language, rich expressions, and other poetic devices. While the poems are funny, cute, or sweet, they are not particularly enriching, nor do they demonstrate writing of the highest caliber. Even so, I would like to use some of the poems in Good Dog to encourage my students to be expressive as oral readers and speakers.
Interestingly, Maya Gottfried and Robert Rahway Zakanitch have worked together on other literacy projects. In fact, it seems that all of Maya's books have been illustrated by Robert. I could not find an exclusive website devoted to Maya's work, but her works are listed on her Amazon page if you are interested in viewing this book or any others that she has written.