Almost every day there is at least one moment when I wish I could understand what one of my dogs is thinking. They give me a look that speaks volumes, clearly trying to convey something that is important. Alas for me. Not speaking dog, I cannot understand what my dog is trying to say.
In today's poetry title, you will get to experience life through the eyes of four dog friends. The poems are often funny and sweet, and they also remind the reader that it is important to at least try to see things from more than one point of view. You may think that rolling on a dead vole is disgusting, but a dog thinks it is a very smart and delicious thing to do.
Illustrated by Miki Sakamoto
Poetry Picture Book
For ages 6 to 8
Penguin, 2012, 978-0-8037-3715-0
Seeing the world through someone else’s eyes can be very interesting. We discover that something we think is fantastic, someone else thinks is dreadful, and vice versa. Imagine what it would be like if you could see the world not through another human’s eyes, but through the eyes of a dog. What would the world look like?
In this clever collection of poems, Marilyn Singer takes us through a typical year with Fizz and his doggy friends Rosalie, Barkley and Buddy. We begin the year with the first freeze. Fizz is out walking with his girl and he peers through Rosalie’s window trying to get his friend to come outside. He reminds her that “We really LOVE this weather” and that the “nippy breeze feels nice.” Then the first snow arrives, and we find out that as far as Fizz is concerned, snow is “Better than biscuits, / Better than cake, Better than burgers.”
For Fizz and his friends, spring is not about flowers and birds. Spring is about chewing sticks, getting ticks, and, most of all, it is about getting as muddy as possible. Of course, spring is also a time when Fizz and his chums have to bear a visit to the groomers. Fizz cannot for the life of him comprehend why his mistress wants him to get clean. Why “can’t I smell like a dog / and not a fruit?” he asks.
Grooming days are not the only days Fizz tells us about. There are also cat-chasing days, vet-visiting days, and hole-diggings days. These dog-centric experiences are mixed in with human celebrations as seen through doggy eyes. For Fizz, the Fourth of July is the day when he is told not to bark, which is very unfair. As for Christmas, well the dog toys are nice, but the day is special because Fizz gets to spend “one whole long day” with his beloved person.
With humor and an obvious love of dogs, Marilyn Singer uses various poetic forms to take us on a wonderful journey through a dog’s year. Young readers will enjoy seeing the world from a dog’s point of view, and will be glad that they were able to spend some time with Fizz and his friends.