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Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Bark in the Park, written by Avery Corman and illustrated by Hyewon Yum. Orchard Books, Scholastic. 2019. $23.99 ages 3 and up

"Bedlington Terrier
The Bedlington Terrier
Couldn't be merrier.
A really nice dog to keep,
Who feels like and looks like
a sheep.

Bull Terrier
A scrappy guy with lots of hustle,
He's one part dog and one part muscle."

Well, who doesn't like books about dogs? Cat owners? Readers meet 38 different breeds in this enjoyable book of poetry. Each poem is descriptive of the breed being introduced. Many will be familiar, some less so. They range from tiny to enormous, from quiet to not-so-quiet, from working dogs to family pets,  and include both genders of the species.

The poems are two or four line stanzas that use descriptive language to help readers familiarize themselves with those presented. Most rhyme, and many add a touch of humor. A pink-coated girl and her father are a part of each new spread as they roam the neighborhood, enjoying a cafe snack, a companionable walk, and stops along the way. In most scenes, the child shows her interest in these canine companions. At times, she watches from a distance; at other times, she gets up close and personal with them. As she and her father go about their day, she is always aware of the neighborhood pets.

She's a softy, not a bully,
And she's also fully woolly.

Old English Sheepdog
He's friendly and he's lovable,
And pushable and shoveable."

 The two return home to a doorstep filled with a broad assortment of dogs, all worthy of love and a place in their home.

The illustrations are action-filled and very appealing. Children will spend a lot of time poring over the details, taking note of the differences, all of the events that are playing out in the community as the two travel along its streets. Don't miss the endpapers - both front and back - which provide a label for each of the breeds from the book.

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