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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

God got a dog, written by Cynthia Rylant and illustrated by Marla Frazee. Beach Lane Books, Simon & Schuster. 2013. $19.99 ages 10 and up

"God made spaghetti
And She didn't have a ceiling
so She tried to make it stick
to Jupiter
but that just
vaporized the noodle,
so God decided to
HAVE FAITH it was cooked
al dente."

Here are sixteen poems from the longer God Went to Beauty School (Harper, 2003) and they are a lovely collection of moments, perfectly represented in the unmistakable artwork of Marla Frazee. She uses graphite and gouache to create these charming images portraying God as many special entities.  From HAPPY man lounging in the morning sunshine with a first cup of coffee, to shy and self-conscious woman who bathes in a robe because expectations of her are so high, and finally to hardworking, tender-hearted woman longing for companionship and warm feet at night; each depiction will give readers pause. Those accompanying scenes gently invited me back to read the poems for a second and third time.  Lovely!

What a celebration of humanity this is. Author and illustrator aptly show their readers the goodness in all of us, with our foibles, our insecurities, our joys. I would like to share each of Ms. Rylant's poems so that you can be enticed by her writing of such memorable scenes. I find it impossible to choose a favorite; here is one I would like to share:

God wrote a book

No, not that one.
Everybody thinks She
wrote that one,
but She didn't.
She's a better writer
than that.
Those guys just
went on and on
and did they
bother to edit?
But wouldn't you know,
you mention a name
and you're in.
So they said,
"I didn't write it,
God wrote it."
A sure way
to get out of revising.
But God wrote
Her own book.
She wrote it for
one little boy.

Just one,

She read it to the boy
at bedtime
because the boy couldn't sleep.
So God read him a book.
The boy grew up.  He became a writer.
Which one?
Not telling."  

It's your turn to find the book, enjoy the humor and the heart, and share it with those you love.

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