Monday, July 25, 2011

Dear Hot Dog

Gerstein, Mordicai. 2011. Dear Hot Dog. New York: Abrams.

Daylight at the end of the work day, leaving the house without a coat, lavender blue lemonade, watermelon, a cool ocean breeze, the smell of food cooking on the grill, sea legs after a day on the water.  These are just a few of the things that I am thankful for in the summer.

In Dear Hot Dog, Mordicai Gerstein brings us three friends and the mundane, but infinitely wonderful things that bring them joy and for which they are thankful.

Did you have cereal this morning?  If you did, did you give much thought to your


You squat on the table
with your big mouth
full of nothing
but light.
You look up begging,
and I let loose
an avalanche of crunchy flakes
crashing down
to fill you.
You gurgle happily
as I pour in milk
and introduce
my spoon.
"We've met," you say.
"the spoon and I
have fallen in love,
and after breakfast
we're running away!"
The three happy and contented children extol the virtues of toothbrushes, cups, bowls, socks, shoes, kites, bears, books and more - vaguely following the course of a day and ending with the pillow.

The text is in a simple black font that allows the watercolor and ink illustrations to fill in the mostly white space with bright colors, expressive faces and movement.  A few of the poems are written in concrete form - "Summer Sun," pouring out in rays, "Bear," bouncing in the bed, but most are simply displayed and easily shared. 

Share it all, or use individual poems as starters for storytimes or school  lessons.  ("Cup" could easily introduce a discussion on states of matter.)

But whatever you do, do share "Books."  It's a wonderful homage to the book and should you be thinking of e-books, "Books" reminds us,

And don't forget ...
books smell good

  Aahhh .....

What are you thankful for on this summer day?

Review copy provided by the publisher.

It's Nonfiction Monday.  Check it out @ Check it Out.


  1. I am thankful for air conditioning. I am also thankful that you let me know about a new Mordicai Gerstein book. Great post.

  2. Wonderful review...I may just buy it for myself. I would love to write a poem for an aboveground pool at night in Memphis, and the sound of cicadas on a back porch at twilight.

  3. Thanks, both of you, for the comments. Perhaps I'll be reviewing your poem, "Night Pool in Memphis" some day. :) Lisa


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