Pros: Wonderful for new readers. Teaches different concepts.
Cons: Not long enough!
I have a daycare in my home, and I read a LOT of children's books to my little ones. I have several of P.D. Eastman and Dr. Seuss books, but had never been intrigued with the book Go, Dog. Go!.
Then one day the Fex Ex man brought me a large box. "I'm told it's toys" he replied. That's a strange thing to say, I thought to myself. Well, as the kids helped me unpack the toys, there was a letter enclosed. It seems there was a litigation settlement (I won't say who the well known toy company was) and each state was awarded $30,000. My state, Alaska, had to come up with a plan for how to spend the money ... they decided to purchase age appropriate books and toys to give to licensed daycare's in the state. My kids thought it was Christmas, with all these new toys.
Still, I wasn't impressed with the book "Go, Dog. Go!" and planned to give it to my 2 year old niece. Well, that plan soon changed when one of my 6 year olds latched onto this book and started to sound out the words! She had just come through kindergarten and knew how to read beginner books. Soon she had the other kids surrounding her on the couch, and she was reading them the story, well ... how could I give a book like that away??
About Go, Dog, Go!
This book is available in several forms. There is a hardcover version (which is 64 pages long), along with a cloth and board book. Mine is the 6"x4" board version. I have since even seen it as a puzzle book. The 23 pages are very thick, hard cardboard. (Perfect for a diaper bag.) My copy says that it is a "Bright and Early Board Book" and it has a picture of the Cat in the Hat in the upper corner.
If your kids like animals, they will enjoy this book! It is almost like looking at the Sunday comics ... the canine antics are hilarious! The expressions on their faces are wonderful. All through the book, the dogs are in some mode of transportation, on their way to ... something (you'll find out when we get to the end of this review!)
Dogs on bicycles, unicycles, skate boards, skis, boats, cars, and those who are simply just running. On each page are just a few short words. The racing cars meet up with a little green bird who is under the stop light, and the bird says "Stop, dogs. Stop! The light is red". Then the bird steps out of the road and says "Go, dogs. Go! It's green ahead". (Personally, I don't like to see the bird in the street.) The kids like this page, because there is a finger play song that we do (with motions) that goes: "The traffic lights we see ahead are sometimes green and sometimes red. Red on top, green below. The red means STOP, the green means GO. Red on top: stop, stop, stop. Green below: go, go, go!"
This book reinforces colors, directions(up & down),rhyming, counting, and size (big & little). The words are simple, single syllables, that are perfect for early readers. The 6 year old felt so important, reading to the other children all by herself! This book was a great confidence booster for her! Because there is a lot of repetition with the words, little readers catch on quickly. One of my 4 year olds has actually memorized the words (I know she isn't reading them) and she is so proud of herself!
I suppose, if you look deep enough, you might be able to see some hidden meanings in the story. All the different colors of dogs could be construed to give a message about diversity and acceptance of those who are different. Or it could simply be a tool in teaching kids colors!
Whether big or small, red or yellow, male or female ... all the dogs in this book manage to get along and race to their destination - a DOG PARTY! They come to a large tree with a tall ladder leaning against it. At the top of the tree all of the animals are having a big birthday party! There are so many details on this page - my kids like to talk about what each of the dogs is doing, and this can take quite a while! (None of the kids ever wonder how in the world the toys, cake, table, and all the other items got into the tree in the first place!)
About The Author
"Go, dog. Go!" was written by P.D. Eastman. He authored, co-authored, and illustrated many children's books. He was born in 1909 and died in 1986. He even produced some films, and worked for Warner Brothers and Disney studios. He helped develop the Dr. Seuss "Gerald McBoing Boing" series with Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss), when he worked for the animation studio "United Productions of America".
Other P.D. Eastman Books
Flap Your Wings
Sam and The Firefly
Big Dog, Little Dog
Cat in the Hat Beginner Book Dictionary
The Alphabet Book
Are You My Mother?
It's funny how kids remember the characters in books. My four year old (the one who memorized Go, Dog. Go!) also loves "Are You My Mother?". She noticed something that I missed. Remember the little bird in the road, under the stop sign? Well, it looks exactly like the bird in the "Are You My Mother?" book. I couldn't believe that she picked up on this! Sure enough, we got out the two books and compared the birds. Except for it being a different color, the birds look identical!
This small book can teach children so much. The single syllable words help foster their reading skills. We could spend an hour discussing the different colors, sizes, directions, etc. that are packed into this short story!
I highly recommend this to anyone with small children, from babies to preschoolers. Kids love it, and that says it all!