Short Review: God Got a Dog by Cynthia Rylant

June 29, 2014 — by The Social Clymer

I love it when life surprises you with magic little moments.  Little bolts of lighting that strike you out of the blue sky.  I was struck by one of those today.

While walking my daughter through the children’s fiction section of the library today to pick up books for our summer reading project, I happened to see a book with a curious title, God Got a Dog.  Has a nice ring to it.  It’s a very thin book, so I opened it up for a quick scan to see if I could hand to my daughter as a recommendation.  I quickly saw that it was a collection of one-page poems.  After reading the first one, “God woke up,” I quickly realized that I wouldn’t be recommending it to my daughter.  I did, however, check it out for myself.

You see, the book is a a great collection of what my daughter will tell you are “small moment” stories.  These, however, happen to be about God.  God wakes up, cooks spaghetti, writes a fan letter, visits the doctor.  Each tale told from an extraordinarily personal point of view of the Almighty.  This is not, however, a religious piece of work.  It is reverent at times, but very irreverent at others.  It sometimes identifies God as male and other times as female.  God is present in the smallest of moments, but in one poem reveals that his job was just to get Everything kickstarted.  Honestly… this is my God.  My God has a sense of humor and other very human traits.  Those are just some of the reasons that I really love this book. Here’s a sample from an image I found at the Simon and Schuster site.

God made spaghetti

To learn more about the talented Cynthia Rylant and the creation of this book, NPR has already done a great job telling that story.  What I can tell you is that, through my lens, this is one of those books that will make me smile for days as I remember specific lines like when God goes to the doctor, “And the doctor said, ‘You don’t need me, you’re God.’ And God said, ‘Well, you’re pretty good at playing me, I figured you’d know what the problem was.’”

I’ll be buying this book at a book store soon to have it around my house for years to come – just like some of the books of poetry from my childhood that continue to be important to adults, like Where the Sidewalk Ends, The Giving Tree and Oh, the Places You’ll Go. And when I think she’s ready, I’ll be happy to read it with my little girl.