Saturday, January 7, 2012

Book #7: Go, Dog, Go! by P.D. Eastman


Image from Amazon.com
This is one of my brother’s top 5 books, so he made me promise to include it. To this day, he LOVES having it read aloud to him. It wasn't until I looked at this book as an adult did I think to ask the (now) obvious question: What exactly is the plot of this book? The answer is that there’s not really a plot. It just involves dogs in cars, dogs at stoplights, dogs on bicycles, dogs in boats, dogs playing baseball, dogs in hats, and finally a huge dog party on the top of a tree. I asked my brother why he loved the book so much and he said he just liked that dogs got to drive cars. So it’s not a deep book and there’s not really a plot or even a moral, oh well.

It’s one of those books that kids will memorize and eventually “read” back to you. It’s a beginning reader, so the same 50 words are repeatedly used. Although it doesn’t have a plot, it does teach opposites and colors, “The green dog is up. The yellow dog is down.” And, of course, it would fit easily into a storytime about dogs or cars/transportation.

I think my brother also liked it because most of the dogs look happy and happy characters have always appealed to him. The dogs are just thrilled to be going up in a roller coaster or kicking back on top of a blue tree. The only dogs that aren’t happy are some of the driving dogs, but I’ve always thought their wide-eyed expressions were due to intense focus on driving not road rage.

Image from Good Books for Young Souls blog
There are wonderful hats in the book, which is a great opportunity to incorporate hats into storytime. Start the story wearing a hat, when you get to “Do you like my hat? I do not.” then you can switch and put on a new hat. The hat joke is a running gag, and true to comedic tradition it happens three times. So be sure to have three hats, each one more outrageous than the last. You could also find hats that look like the ones in the book and let the kids try them on (just make sure you spray them with Lysol afterwards). 

If you have the time and resources, have the kids make or decorate their own hats. Folded newspaper hats are cheap and easy, but I’ve also found directions for baseball caps and cute paper bowl hats. Make sure to have lots of fun decorations, feathers, sparkles, stickers, crepe paper streamers, etc. You can also go for just straight up doggy-ness and make dog ear headbands.

Image from Good Books for Young Souls blog
Chances are kids will want to get up and shake out their wiggles because the story has lots of movement in it. Since the book talks about stop and go Red Light, Green Light is a great game to play. In a twist on Twister, place different colored squares, circles, or other shapes on the ground and on the walls (just be sure they’re within the reach of the kids). Pull colored slips out of a hat or make a spinner and then announce, “Go, Dogs, Go Green!” Just make sure you have more than one square of each color or you’ll have a pile up!


-Amy

8 comments:

  1. This is one of my favorite picture books! I even have a favorite page "Three dogs at a party on a boat at night" I always wanted to recreate that scene, with all the props of course!

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  2. I'd make the paper hats for you! Wouldn't it be fun to do a calendar, each month being a recreated children's book illustration?

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  3. god, i love go dogs go. that hat gag is my absolute favorite.

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  4. A lot of children's theatres are doing Go, Dog, Go! and I think it would a blast to work on. Imagine all the possibilities!

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  6. This was my favorite book too (I am 51). All these years later, I loved that when asked if he liked the hat- he was honest "No, I do not" When do you get to be that honest? And in the end it was the wild and crazy hat that was just the right one. All that coming and going; everyone ended up together- at a big party.

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    1. Thanks Lucky Sevans! Even though it really doesn't have a plot, I love this book a lot. It's so timeless.

      -Amy

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