Tuesday, March 12, 2019

PW review

Bark in the Park! Poems for Dog Lovers


Corman, the author of adult novels including Kramer vs. Kramer, makes his picture-book debut with this urban dog field guide comprising short poems—some only two lines—that salute the 38 breeds a child and parent encounter on a walk through the city (mixed pups get a shout-out on the final page). The canines are as varied and cosmopolitan as their human counterparts—a street-savvy, mostly gregarious community in its own right. Corman’s rhymes could at times use more wit and metrical crackle, but they convey details about the breeds with affectionate good humor. Of one hound, he writes, “Whatever you lose, you’d better believe it,/ The Labrador Retriever is sure to retrieve it.” A few spreads help readers distinguish among similar breeds—the greyhound and the saluki, for example, appear in abutting pages. Lively art by Yum (Someday, Narwhal) is the real star, exuding spontaneity and distilled, telling detail. She portrays a leaping Jack Russell terrier and an elegant Weimaraner with the same aplomb, capturing their essential, common dogginess: self-possessed but companionable, and happy to be alive. Ages 3–5. (Mar.)

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

May/ June SLC Review

Bark in the Park!: Poems for Dog Lovers
Corman, Avery
Illustrated by Hyewon Yum. 2019. 48pp. $17.99 hc. Orchard Books (Scholastic, Inc). 9781338118391. Grades K-3
Follow a young girl and her father as they go for a stroll through their neighborhood in the big city to the park. The story is a marriage of illustrations and text beginning with the cover, which depicts the girl on a park bench surrounded by playful dogs, to the end pages that introduce a variety of dogs through labeled pictures which identify each breed. What follows is a story within a story, with the accompanying illustrations showcasing their adventure. Meanwhile, the reader is treated to short poems conveying characteristics of the different dogs they see as they stroll through what appears to be Central Park. Along the way, the little girl notices everything from a notice regarding a lost toy bunny to the actual toy bunny perched beneath a tree. Young readers will laugh at the tongue in cheek humor, such as the father purchasing a hot dog as his daughter pets a Dachshund, or a bearded man walking his whiskered Schnauzer and Scottish Terrier. Corman's poems, which are sassy, well-written, and rhythmically enchanting, are on target for each breed of dog and just the right length to entertain and amuse the reader. Yum's lively mixed-media illustrations elevate this book’s storyline to a whole new level. While there are many poetry books about dogs available, this one stands out as a picture book that will be read cover to cover as children find themselves engaged by what is going on throughout the pages. This is the perfect read-aloud that will have children checking out dog books from the library just to satiate the curiosity each poem evokes. Helen Burkart Presser, Educational Author, Lower School Librarian, Canterbury School, Fort Wayne, Indiana
Highly Recommended

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Bark in the Park!-review from Booklist

Bark in the Park!: Poems for Dog Lovers.
By Avery Corman. Illus. by Hyewon Yum
Mar. 2019. 48p. Scholastic, $17.99 (9781338118391). K–Gr. 3. 811 
Short, spritely poems accompany the 38 varieties of dog showcased in this witty and fact-filled book. The poems range from simple rhyming couplets to freestyle verse, and some use internal rhymes to show off the dog’s primary characteristics (like “The Poodle is quick to learn a trick. / You could say the poodle can use her noodle”). A loose narrative thread connects the poems, which follow a little girl and her father on a walk through the neighborhood. They first see an Afghan hound, with its appropriately thin, long-haired owner. Then they encounter a slew of other dogs, including a dachshund “who looks like she’s a hot dog” in front of a hot dog stand, and a Great Dane stretching over two pages to sniff at a Chihuahua. The illustrations, which use heavy ink outlines with watercolors and washes of color, are engaging and filled with comic details. Corman incorporates appropriate warnings about interacting with certain breeds and brings everything to a heartwarming conclusion: “Being friends with a dog is a dream come true.” 
— Connie Fletcher