Reviews for My Dog May Be a Genius

Booklist Reviews 2008 March #1
In their fifth collaboration, Prelutsky and Stevenson create another collection of delicious nonsense poetry and gleeful cartoons. Many of the subjects are familiar, from gross-out food  ("ferret fat in mossy muck") to fart jokes: "The Zeenaleens are fond of beans / and often eat a pound. / It isn't very difficult / to tell when they're around." As always, the poems chronicle a merry alternate world in which the laws of nature don't apply. In one selection, a marching band earnestly attempts an underwater concert; in another, a ball game is called off after pythons rain from the sky. As always, Stevenson's line-and-wash drawings adeptly extend the silly mood in each poem, and Prelutsky's rhyming couplets ramp up the meter to capture the galloping excitement of imagined adventures: "On Monday at midnight, my griffin and I / rise through the clouds to an ebony sky." Another winning choice for newcomers and fans alike. Copyright 2008 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2008 #2
This new Prelutsky-Stevenson collection follows the same format as earlier collaborations, but their twenty-plus years of working together seem to have only sharpened their skills: My Dog May Be a Genius is every bit as fresh and fun as 1984's The New Kid on the Block (rev. 11/84). Although many of the over one hundred poems will amuse children as young as age five or six, still more contain sophisticated vocabulary and wordplay that will appeal just as much to fourth and fifth graders. Even the silly verses usually offer a small twist that makes the young reader think twice in order to get the joke: "He thought he saw a crocodile, / but it was just a frog. / He pointed to a hippo / that turned out to be a log. / He spied a pterodactyl / that was nothing but a kite, / then thought he saw a dinosaur -- / We miss him...he was right." Some of the poems nudge children toward a more contemplative mood: "I'm appearing out of nowhere, / I'm beginning to exist. / I had never been an inkling / not a whisper in a mist..." Stevenson's jaunty watercolor-and-ink pictures extend the mood of each poem; together, poet and artist have created a book brimming with wit. Copyright 2008 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2008 February #1
Two grand masters team up to produce a decidedly goofy illustrated poetry anthology. Prelutsky, who must surely dream in iambs, so plentifully do they fall from his pen, offers some 100 plus poems on subjects varying from pets to imaginary beasties. He's totally cued in to childish solipsism: Just about half of the poems begin with "I" or "my." Stevenson's quick pen-and-ink vignettes appear equally effortless, lumpy elephants and hapless children staring benignly from the page. Some of the poems, in form or in wordplay, are unquestionably inspired. "The Call of the Longwinded Clumsy Owl" consists of one word--"WHOOPS"--rendered with enough intervening Os to occupy the whole page; "When the Butcher Was Delivered" asks readers to consider the punny possibilities in otherwise unrelated words. Still, one must wonder if the book would pack more of a punch if it were about half as long. Too many of the poems consist of rhyming couplets in lockstep rhythms that dwell on mild sillinesses, resulting in an uneven collection in which the only-pretty-good overwhelms the truly-great. (Poetry. 5-10) Copyright Kirkus 2008 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2008 March #1

Familiar yet inventive, exuberant and silly, this consistently fresh assortment of light verse and expressive cartoons lives up to the haute goofiness of the best Prelutsky/Stevenson work (The New Kid on the Block ). This collection of more than a hundred poems includes Prelutsky's distinctive mixture of real and fictitious animals, outlandish pets, wistfully subversive students and anti-establishment characters. There are enough verses about burping and homework to satisfy the usual suspects, but they'll also stick around to find their imaginations jump-started. Wordplay and nonsense include the alliterative items on Sandwich Sam's menu ("beetle beet banana blubber, chigger cheese chinchilla chalk") and the incomparable pun in the poem "Today It's Pouring Pythons," in which the ballgame is called "anaconda rain." Humor and whimsy abound, and Stevenson's clever art extends the comedy, but never overshadows the text. He somehow makes elephants look "extremely graceful,/ light and limber on their feet" in "I'm Dancing with My Elephants," and he can make eccentricity plausible, as when a father and son engage in their traditional July 4 buttering of their noses in "My Family's Unconventional." Like the words in the poem "Some Chickens," the pairings in this volume are "pure poultry in motion." Ages 5-up. (Mar.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2008 February

Gr 2-5-- Prelutsky has created yet another volume of short poems with guaranteed child appeal. Again he has assembled a zany cast of imaginary creatures and machines, among them the Blue-Bean-Bonking Bubble that bonks unsuspecting passersby; the Snoober that has 11 heads, eyes, tails, wings, songs, and beaks; the Preposterous Wosstrus "that sleeps in the back of your mind," willing to do whatever you command. Familiar animals doing silly things will amuse readers: a pig in a bathing suit that uses "oinkment" for his sunburn; a steel-eating sheep that grows a coat of steel wool; an absentminded elephant that "tries to fly, forgetting/that it hasn't any wings." Creative shape poems are sprinkled throughout: "I Am on a Bumpy Road" features words twisted back and forth across the page; "I Am Climbing Up a Ladder" is arranged into up word steps followed by a quick descent. Predictably, Prelutsky plays with language and does not shy away from challenging vocabulary, as illustrated in "The Underwater Marching Band" that "blares with gusto/and unmitigated cheer,/undaunted by the knowledge/we're impossible to hear." Stevenson's simple signature drawings capture the spirit of each poem with just the right amount of illustration.--Lee Bock, Glenbrook Elementary School, Pulaski, WI

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