Monday, March 29, 2010

Hip Hop Dog


Hip Hop Dog is a rollicking rhyme fest about a dog who raps about his troubles but also boasts about overcoming them.  The Hip Hop Dog is the only one of his litter that was not chosen (I was born into a litter, Of eight brothers and eight sisters. Friendly takers took the others; Now I got no puppy-sitters.). At first, the dog wonders if there is something wrong with him, but as he travels through the city he realizes that the influence of the streets has made him something special and that's alright.

Chris Raschka's rhymes have the feel of hip hop with the narrator referencing his troubles, boasting that he is the best, and listing pop culture icons like Louis Armstrong.  There is also a strong message of self-esteem in his rhymes. Vladimir Radunksy's illustrations add to the vibe with a vibrant cityscape and strutting dogs.

Hip Hop Dog is a blast as a read-aloud, but I would recommend reading it several times beforehand so you can get a feel for the rhythm and circular text.

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