Go, Dog, Go! An easy book, right? It's fun—that's for sure. But if you're a first-grader working hard to read at grade level, Go, Dog, Go! is a real challenge. Picture clues abound: big dog and little dog clearly refer to illustrations of the same. But the words, they can trip you up. To read P.D. Eastman's classic, you'll need to distinguish between tree, three, the, and there; out, of, on, in, and one; and go, going, to, and do. You'll have to recognize that the -ay in play ("Play, dogs, play!") makes a long a sound. For that matter, you'll have to know what a long a is. And forget said; at least it doesn't show up in this book. The sight word said can really throw a person for a loop. Sight words. The only thing to do is to memorize them.
Those are just a few of the myriad things that my first-grade reading buddies have to keep in mind when they read a book like Go, Dog, Go! Becoming a fluent reader is like getting to Carnegie Hall; the children need practice, practice, practice, in addition to the good instruction they get from their talented teachers. Some of the kids' reading-group books are 8 pages long. Reading 8 pages can be very satisfying. So, when you and a fellow first-grader finish the last of 64 pages in Go, Dog, Go!, you have not only risen to the challenge, you have accomplished a lot. In fact, you should pat yourself on the back.
Go, readers, go!