Captivating poetry about kids' favorite things.


Dear Hot Dog is an illustrated collection of short free-verse poetry for children. Each poem describes popular objects or activities in a child's daily life. The author spins a small story often from the perspective of the inanimate object or idea to capture and relate to the imaginations of younger readers.

BTSYA / Teen Reader (16):
I like how the poems are simple and yet creative, even though they don't connect in a specific theme or story. You can tell that each poem was designed to be written and understood from the perspective of a child. The title, Dear Hot Dog, may be a bit misleading until you see that it is a reference to one of the poems. [Fun fact: one of the few poems in the book about food.]

While the word count and vocabulary may be more complex than usual for youth poetry books, the topics and themes are clearly designed for the average preschooler to enjoy.

There is no consistent rhythm scheme, which mightm make this more attractive to kids. Since this isn't a pure picture book, there are fewer illustrations, which some kids may find disappointing. This would make a nice quick read for children. It is a good introduction to free-verse poetry for young listeners, but probably not as exciting to them as Dr. Seuss or Shel Silverstein.



Reader Enjoyment Factors:

Inanimate objects come to life is always a fan fave in the preschool and early elementary set. Poems in Dear HOt Dog will "feed" that love when you read them aloud. Because this is a collection, there is no need to start on page 1!

Content Awareness Factors:

None. Poems vary in style and not all poems rhyme, which may bother some readers.

Type of Book:
This is an illustrated collection of poetry.
Educational Themes:

With young readers, sharing the poems is a chance to open their imaginations - especially giving inanimate object personalities. Because the vocabulary is more complex, you're also building their word banks.

THis is an excellent choice for a writing workshop or introduction to poetry where kids can learn that not all poems rhyme and that they can be about anything.

Reading Level:
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
9 and Up
Recommended Age To Read Together:
5 and Up
Age of child:
Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™ . Reviewer age: 16
Purchase Recommendation:
Borrow. This is nice to read, but your child will outgrow the poems.

Title Dear Hot Dog
Author Mordicai Gerstein
Publisher Abrams Books for Young Readers, Imprint Abrams Books © 2011
ISBN 9780810997325
Material Hard Cover
Cost $10.95
Genres Poetry, Friendship, Humor, Stories In Verse
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