Go Dog Go

Go, Dog, Go! by P. D. Eastman

Eastman, P D. Go, Dog, Go! New York: Random House Children’s Books, 2011. Print.

This classic children’s book by P.D. Eastman has been re-released in 2011 in a special 50th Anniversary Party edition format, complete with a shiny and colourful foil-like cover. Written exclusively for children just learning how to read, this story takes the reader on a whimsical and light-hearted course through colours, numbers, time, and more. Dogs in all shapes, sizes, and colours are doing multiple actions on various forms of vehicles, and a large number of them are on their way to an unnamed location, which we find out at the end is a party atop a tree. Kids can explore movement and direction with lines like “The blue dog is in. The red dog is out.” The book also teaches prepositions and proximity to other objects with declarations such as “Two dogs in a house on a boat in the water. A dog over the water. A dog under the water.”

The book consists of large print and sentences being broken down into 2-3 words per line:

“Three dogs

at a party

on a boat

at night.”

This approach makes the book much less intimidating for beginning readers, and allows them to explore the book at an appropriate pace. The words are simple and easier for pronunciation, so children trying to read along with parents will likely not be frustrated by this book. The words are often repeated so the reader will actually recognize phrases and terms previously used in the book, and “Go, dog. Go!” is an amusing repeated chant used to encourage the dogs on their journey.  Along with this, colourful and quirky drawings accompany each of the phrases, allowing kids to understand the context better through visual reinforcement.

Aside from being a great tool for teaching, this book is also a humorous tale for the reader. Several times throughout the book, one dog wearing a simple hat asks another dog whether or not he likes it. He bluntly replies, “I do not like that hat,” and the two part ways. This happens several more times with several more plain hats, and each time the dog replies “I do not like that hat.” At the large dog party at the end of the book, the first dog is wearing an over-the-top, outlandish party hat that is borderline ridiculous; it is at this time that the second dog agrees that it is a great hat, and the two ride off into the sunset together.

Overall, this book is great for preschool and beginning readers, and would also be an excellent read-along book for parents to share with their toddlers as part of an early literacy program. The variety of words and pictures are exciting for the new reader, and will prove to be an enjoyable first reading experience. This book has a unique and timeless appeal; it has been a popular go-to book for beginning literacy for the past 50 years and will continue to enchant young readers well into the future.

Highly-recommended: 4 out of 4 stars

Reviewer: Diana Keto

Diana is originally from the Washington, D.C. area, where she worked for several years at a government library. She received her MLIS in 2009 and works at University of Alberta as a Public Services Librarian in the Humanities and Social Sciences Library.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.20361/G2KW2N