Friday, January 13, 2012


That's my word for 2012.
Savor the last few months with my almost 18-year-old
before he heads out into the world.
And with his brother, our resident
16-year-old expert (on everything!).
Savor the days with my
23 ten-year-old treasures.
Just savor.

DEAR HOT DOG, by Mordecai Gerstein is a perfect book, then, for 2012. I discovered the book when I was serving as a First Round Cybils judge. DEAR HOT DOG was selected as a finalist in our category, and fellow judge and Poetry Friday participant, Amy Ludwig VanDerwater, from The Poem Farm, wrote a beautiful synopsis for the CYBILS website:
Full of gratitude, this collection renews a reader’s appreciation for the stuff we touch and use each day, stuff that just might have feelings of its own. From morning through evening, Gerstein speaks to and about humble things, elevating them through observation and questions. We come to see that autumn leaves are really wearing Halloween costumes and hear a toothbrush “gargling your little song.” A cup “puts a handle” on liquids and a hot dog is “snug as a puppy in your bready bun. For the first time, we wonder where light goes in the darkness.
By celebrating daily objects, this delightful tribute offers readers of all ages a way to see our own lives – with whimsy, wonder, and thankfulness for the small stuff of our own lives.
Here is the title poem:


Dear hot dog,
snug as a puppy
in your bread bun,
I love you.
I squeeze the sunny
up and down
your ticklish tummy,
and cover you up
with relish and a blanket
of crimson ketchup.
You are so fragrant,
plump, and steamy.
I could

Mordecai Gerstein

(In the book it's really printed in two columns, the first ten lines on the left hand side, the last ten on the right, but I can't figure out how to make blogspot do that, my apologies to Mr. Gerstein).

I will be pairing this book with another favorite "savoring" book, dear world, by Takayo Noda.

Poetry Friday is at A Teaching Life. Thanks for hosting, Tara!

Savor the day!


Linda B said...

I connected to my OLW too! What a wonderful two books to savor. I can imagine using these even with older students to help them find ideas for writing, poetry or prose. The second one looks so beautiful! Thanks Carol.

Katya said...

Would it be terrible to have a hotdog for brekkie?! That poem put me in the mood for a hot dog with lots of spicy mustard.

Katie said...

This is one of my favorite poetry collections for kids! (I was actually the one who nominated it for the Cybils.) I think my favorite poem is the one about toes. The idea of the little girl missing her toes because she doesn't see them all Winter really stuck with me. I just love the way Gerstein finds the extraordinary in the ordinary!

Jone said...

It's such a fun book. So glad it made the finalists.
I couldn't get into the comments page to leave mine for PF.

Robyn Hood Black said...

Sounds like a delicious collection, Carol - I look forward to checking it out! I love your word for the new year, "savor." And I understand the family sentiments, as my oldest is about to turn 20 and my youngest will graduate from high school next year. We must savor the moments and days, indeed.

GatheringBooks said...

So many lovely books nominated for Cybils! I am sure that the judges are having a wonderful wonderful time going over all the reading materials. I can't wait to see the finalists and the winners. :) Will check this book out in our library as well.

Linda B said...

Carol, to reply to your comment. I really have enjoyed your blog, but also love that we are in the same place. Sometimes it seems that we're out here rather isolated! Go Broncos!

And I love that you love the first poem by Ferlinghetti. It is a favorite, & so inspiring to think about writing a line like 'the little airplanes of the heart/with their brave little propellers'.

Amy L V said...

'Savor' is a perfect word. And savoring people is the best of all... I'm so glad you love this book too - it makes me appreciate the whole world in all of its bigness and smallness! a.

Mary Lee said...

It's so hard to believe that you have come to this time of transition. How does that sneak up so fast?!?! All that hard lovin' and growin' and teachin'...and you stand there on the edge of the cliff hoping and praying that all if it has made wings strong enough to hold him when he flies...