This is a wonderful book of poems that help create special moments with your children. The tone, wording and maturity of the poems are clearly for children and I’m thinking from about 5 years old. There is a consistent style through each poem, so it is something that you can explain to a child and they can start to see the form and structure.
What I really liked about the book is that it is seen through the eyes of a dog but there isn’t an attempt to make every poem sentimental about it being man’s best friend. It was quite refreshing to see the author get inside the head of a dog and imagine what the sights, sounds and thought process must be like. It was also important to illustrate how often the dog became accepting of a new situation such as a cat or a book, which teaches us that maybe we can’t always get what we desire but the compromise can also be positive.
The poems are categorised into 4 main groups: Questions, Colours, Musings and Haiku. Like many books of collected stories or poems, there are those you will love, those you will like and those not so much. I did like the ‘Dog or Book’ poem and found ‘The Third Dog’ poem a great one for reading and discussing with children. The Colour poems were delightful, not only because they are well written, but they provide that added dimension to help explain the colours in nature and create a bit of excitement around discovery. The final section on Haiku was a great change of pace and another insight into a style of Japanese verse.
Poems are such a fantastic part of literature that to start a child off appreciating poetic verse is brilliant. As Good as Gold: A Dog’s Life in Poems is a great book for young readers and not so bad for older ones too.
Many thanks to Patricia Furstenberg for permitting me to read her book and provide an honest review.