Wednesday, April 2, 2014

I Could Chew On This and Other Poems by Dogs by Francesco Marciuliano

If your dog was a poet, what would he say? I Could Chew On This and Other Poems by Dogs by Francesco Marciuliano is a great book for not only dog lovers but reluctant Young Adult Readers. In this novel, Marciuliano takes the reader into the creative minds of every man’s best friend. Who knew dogs could be so poetic?? In the text, the author sticks to four essential aspects that revolve around a dogs life consisting of Being Inside, Going Outside, Being at Your Side, and Heavy Thinking Topics such as food, playing, and the garbage man. With its whimsical prose and charisma, the reader is taken into the mind of the unconditional loving friend that has always been at their side. 

For a Sneak Peak, let’s take a look at the very poem that titled the book called,

I Could Chew On This

How come when I bite down on
this toy it doesn’t go “Squeak”?
Maybe because - as you just screamed-
I’m really chewing on your favorite shoe
Or maybe because
I really need to get more of it in my mouth.
If you would like to see a "trailer" for the book, here is a clip of the author reading from his famous piece and discussing his intent behind it all.

The strengths of this novel is that it reaches out to all of the dog lovers in the world. It is a short read, therefore, a reluctant reader would only have to “endure” it for a short amount of time. However in that time, with the books fun demeanor, the reader may actually enjoy it and want to read more from these furry poets. In the book, it expresses the inner thoughts that we are incapable of hearing but can still relate to. In the introduction of the novel, the author dedicates the book to a dear friend stating, “Dedicated in cherished memory to Panda, the sweetest, most loving, perhaps
poetically gifted (we like to think) dog a family could ever have.” If you want to learn more about the author and his perspectives on the book, here is an interview he had with Medium Large. Just click on the book cover on the right hand side! Dog lovers who either have the privilege of owning a dog or who is coping with the loss of one can relate to this book on a very personal level. While this book may not seem like the most academic, a teacher with reluctant readers could use it to their advantage. In many schools, they participate in D.E.A.R. (Drop Everything And Read) Day’s. If a teacher does not want their student dreading every second of it, they can offer them this book to peak their interests. Additionally, if an instructor is really looking for some fun poems to use in a poetry lesson, they could examine some from this book to teach free-verse poetry, personification in texts, perspective taking, and how to interpret the author’s point of view.
Some of the weaknesses for the book is that it only concentrates on dogs. One way to fix this problem, however, is taking a look at its sister book called I Could Pee on This and Other Poems by Cats by Francesco Marciuliano. If you are a cat lover, a link to that book is right here! Additionally, with its poetic verses, the book can only pertain to English courses for D.E.A.R. Days or small poetry units as well.

As a reviewer, I would suggest young adult readers to read this book to open their minds to not only reading but poetry and dogs. Whether they are a dog lover or cat lover, Francesco Marciuliano will take you on a journey no matter what. While this book doesn't contain theories or brain busting concepts, it is a fun book that any English teacher could incorporate into their classroom for a memorable lesson. This book could be used in and out of school because many people urge to understand their house pets and wonder what they are thinking about throughout the day. From reading this text, their questions will be answered.
If you are interested in buying your own copy, click here! There are also some reviews to read from current buyers.

Additionally, if you want to learn more about communicating with your dog, this link is for you! Enjoy!


Brittany Ranney said...

This book sounds very creative coming from a dog's perspective. It sounds interesting to read the way humans think a dog thinks. Because dogs make good pets and dogs are often the pets of children, I find this could be useful for kids to read to understand how their pet dog thinks and they can learn how dogs want to be treated.

Vanessa Chairez said...

Hey Karra!

The pictures you posted are so cute! I love dogs. The book seems very interesting. And I agree with you that it is a good way to introduce poetry to the classroom.


Heather Nelson said...

Thanks so much for your review. I love all things related to dogs-- ok, minus, the clean-up during our walks-- lol, and I think this is a great way, as you've mentioned, to get students excited about poetry. This could be a great way to lead into a creative writing unit about common people, places or things that bring us joy and help us see the world through a different viewpoint. Thank you for sharing this whimsical, creative text! I am definitely getting a copy after reading your review! -Heather