What’s not to love about Darling, I Love You?

Yes, I admire any book that has a subtitle, “Poems from the Hearts of Our Glorious Mutts and All Our Animal Friends.” The paperback’s $17 pricetag is a bit chilling, however.

Yes, I adore the illustrations of Patrick (Mutts) McDonnell. His art breathes life into words.

I had never experienced any of Daniel Ladinsky’s heart-warming poetry. Unfortunately, I read Ladinsky’s acknowledgements, too.

Here, he gives a nod to assistant Melissa LaScaleia. Some of the verses were penned by her alone. Others were collaborations between Ladinsky and LaScaleia. Making this poetry sound more like a science experiment, Ladinsky tells of staging a blind test with illustrator McDonnell.

“…in a blind test we slipped some of her work with haiku and renga into the over 1000 we submitted to Patrick for this volume.”

Sorry, sir. My enjoyment was overshadowed by wishes to see LaScaleia getting a cover credit.

Yes, I enjoyed this book. Meanwhile, I’ll be ready to read any more writing by Melissa LaScaleia. Your day will come!