Customer Reviews: My Dog May Be a Genius
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on March 20, 2008
I preordered this book for my Grandson who is almost 2 - I actually bought it because I liked the title but not only did it have a great title, the book is absolutely FANTASTIC! His mother loves reading it to him, his grandmother loves reading it to him and little Noah stays interested while it is being read to him. I highly recommend this book, especially because of the rhyming style that offers a pleasant variation from regular story books.
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VINE VOICEon March 22, 2009
I'm not afraid of anything,
except, perhaps, of bears,
and spiders, snakes, and centipedes,
and falling down the stairs...

If you are not a lover of poetry, no problem. Don't think of these hilarious ditties as poetry, but as crazily skewed glimpses into the wacky world of kids. Children's Poet Laureate Jack Prelutsky gives us a big beautiful book full of wordplay, and you just can't read it without bobbing your head and tapping your foot. It's hardly fair to give you just the beginnings of these poems, but you WILL want to read it for yourself, all 100+ crazy jingles.

I crossed a lion with a mouse.
Their progeny patrol my house,
and often roar, demanding cheese--
I give them all the cheese they please...

Animals, real and imagined, populate this book and will delight any child. Who says an elephant has to remember, or that...well, that a pet can't play chess?

I have a pet orangutan,
the two of us play chess.
I always won when we began,
but now I'm winning less.

Much of the humor is rooted in the familiar, but with an unexpected twist; such as a letter from camp ("My counselor says I have to write--I threw up on my sweater...") or the hilarious ode to homework:

Homework, sweet homework,
you heavenly thing,
as soon as I see you
I dance and I sing...

Many of the poems are quite philosophical, drawing "life lessons" from everyday observations, as in "A Turtle":

A turtle never feels the need
to ambulate at breakneck speed.
Of course, unsuited for the deed,
it certainly would not succeed...

Or "A Worm":

A worm wends its winding and unaware way,
wriggling in solitude day after day...

There are cynical commentaries on family life, and as you know, kids will say anything!

My sister's taking lessons
in learning how to sing.
From everything I've heard so far,
she hasn't learned a thing...

Prelutsky takes forays into a fantastical world that will stretch the imagination:

We witches love our weekends
at the Spells & Smells Motel.
They cultivate our business,
and they treat our coven well...

Line illustrations by James Stevenson add much to this beautifully-laid-out book. Many of the poems are presented graphically, such as the ovoid "I'm Trapped in an Egg" and the winding "I Am on a Bumpy Road".

My Dog May Be a Genius is a gorgeous book with plenty of space on the page, tons of style, and a sure-fire sense of humor. It begs to be read out loud, preferably by a child.

Linda Bulger, 2009
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on September 9, 2008
This anthology of poetry is filled to the brim with fun, light poetry for children written by Jack Prelutsky. Prelutsky was named the Poetry Foundation's first ever Children's Poet Laureate. There are several concrete poems and wordplay poems included as well as poems with strong rhythm and rhyme components. These are my favorite types of and share with young children to awaken their interest in this multifaceted genre.

The anthology includes varied lengths of poems and incorporates personification perfectly matched to a child-like imagination. "Sprig Id Here" is a poem that will challenge children's decoding skills as they read a poem written in the voice of a child with a spring cold. Several poems feature word families that would be useful in teaching reading skills to early readers. (
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on May 15, 2010
In general I am not too fond of poetry, be it adult or children's poetry. I ordered this book along with several others by Jack Prelutsky for my 4 grandsons ranging in age from 2 to 7. As I usually do, I read every one of them before they do. Since I am not as eloquent as the author I cannot find the appropriate words as to how to describe how special these books are. Every child and adult with a sense of humor should pick up at least one of Mr. Prelutsky's books and read it. The books are not only amusing but with very few exception are written in everyday language. Unlike the books of Dr. Suess (which in his own right deserves recognition as an excellent writer of children's books), there are no grinches or other nonsensical works and yet the way this author has written his books will make anyone from 2 to 102 smile or laugh out loud. Even though they are written for kids, as an adult I found them to be more then special. He is an excellent author who does things with words that will not only entertain you and any child that is lucky enough to own his books, but after reading them I would not be surprised if this introduction to poetry will result in kids at any age being anxious to read more of Mr. Prelutsky's books. This author is exceptional when it comes to putting into verse life as kids see it and live it. They will be transfixed by how well he is able to use descriptive easy to understand vocabulary. His expertise in making the verses flow and rhyme so perfectly is a literary experience all children of any age should be exposed to. Any adult reading these books to a young child will not be bored and will actually look forward to verbal interaction that will be fulfilling for both the child and the adult. Some of his books are written for children that are reading on their own. These children will no doubt enjoy reading the books that were written for younger kids as well. Don't be surprised if they go back to these books over and over again even when childhood is just a memory. Do a child a favor and open the door to a very special reading experience that will not soon be forgotten.

The books themselves which include both hardcover and soft cover are made so that each page is thick enough to withstand being handled by children and even the soft covered books look and feel as if they are much more expensive than what I actually paid for them. When you hold it you can see how substantial and well made the book is. Like the potato chip commercial says, you can't just read one, after reading one I am sure that you will want to buy all of Mr. Prelutsky's children's books which is exactly what I did.
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VINE VOICEon April 13, 2009
This is a great book to have on hand for browsing from beginning readers to middle grades. Oh, OK. Adults are allowed to read and smile, too. Not all poems are manageable for the early grades to digest independently, but all are fun if the listener can find a friendly reader to help out. Think how much you loved Shel Silverstein, and buy this to add to you collection of poetry for children. (Honestly, you could add any Jack Prelutsky poetry. My kids both at home and at school love him unconditionally. If you are teaching with his work, consider checking out some of the cool stuff he has out to encourage kids to write, too.)
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on January 26, 2009
These poems are so clever and fun- and funny! Our almost 4 year old loves them, and I love reading them. I bought another copy for our nephew who is just learning to read. These remind me of the Shel Silverstein poems I read as a kid- and loved- but seem a bit more appropriate for a very young audience. I love introducing poetry and this is a great way to do it. I HIGHLY recommend this book (and others by him- we have a few now).
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on December 7, 2008
We got this book at a school book fair and it's by far the best discovery in ages.. These kids' poems are hilarious and superbly well-written, with all the craft and subtlety of Edward Lear or Ogden Nash, but they're immediately accessible to kids and to adults.

You may think poetry's not your thing, but your child will love the pieces in this book which make great bedtime reading as well. My daughter memorized one - "A Letter from Camp" - last year for a school event and she got laughs like a standup comic - it was such a hit that kids and other teachers asked her to do it over and over again.

Light verse may seem like a lost art, but the poems here couldn't be better - five stars plus and hats off to a terrific poet, Jack Prelutsky, the best poet for children in a long, long time...
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on February 22, 2009
What a great book for a kid! It's all written in verse but so much fun, and a good introduction to poetry.
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on November 13, 2009
My son had to choose a poetry book to read for school. We chose "My Dog May Be a Genius" and he loved it. He thought the poems were really funny and read the entire book in a very short time. Highly recommended!
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on May 7, 2010
My granddaughter just loves this book.
She was thrilled when she received it.
She is six years old and started reading it and could not put it down.
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