Bless Our Pets: Poems of Gratitude for Our Animal Friends

Eerdmans. Apr. 2024. 40p. ed. by Hopkins, Lee Bennett, ed. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780802855466.
PreS-Gr 1–An anthology of poems celebrating all the things about animals that make them lovable pets. In this selection featuring children’s authors and poets, pets range from furry to scaly and everything in between. The poems are simple and accessible, while offering complex vocabulary and imagery that celebrates the many layers of emotions around beloved pets. The range of feelings and topics is vast, such as in Lois Lowry’s “Mouse Dreams,” where the narrator imagines the scary nightmares a mouse might have, versus the whimsical and comedic “Pet Snake?” by Charles Ghigna, which serves as gratitude that the snake belongs to someone else. The real stars of the collection are Judge’s illustrations, which beautifully give life to guinea pigs and bubbly goldfish. The children featured present some diversity in ethnicity and race, though most appear white.
VERDICT An effective, quaint set of poems, this would be a good addition for collections with a high interest in poetry and animal books.

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