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“Hello.” “Hello.” “Do you like my hat?” “No I do not like your hat!” “Good bye” “Good bye”

I remember the words written by P. D. Eastman off by heart – even though it is close to half a century since I first delighted in the words and pictures of ‘Go Dog Go’. The book was published in 1961 and I was born only a few years later. My earliest memories were of turning its pages carefully and sitting for hours – sounding out the words and exploring the pictures.

(Side note: How often do we give books to little children to explore? – I lament the electronic baby-sitters aka the iPad.)

Not only is it the first book I can remember, it is the first book I could read. I would return to it, daily, weekly and over the years delighting in words, color and the smallness of the details in the book. It was about work, play and celebration.

I tried to trick the dogs pictured by only half turning the page to see if whilst the book was closed those naughty little tricksters would get up to more mischief. I never caught them.

I would peer at the “dog party” double page at the end of the book over and over again – I still don’t tire of it – seeing all the individual celebrations going on.

Without this book I might not have learned that reading is fun, exciting and a celebration. I might not have learned that finishing a book has its own rewards.

I kept my copy of the book and it was one of the first books I read with my children – both of them delighted as I had been when they could grasp the words. It was simply a marvel watching them experience exactly what I had as a child.

This is what I learned:

  • How to tell a short succinct story – with a big ending
  • That color is enticing
  • The importance of goal setting and celebration
  • How to be brief – why use 50 words when 5 will do?
  • I learned to love reading… and that has forever changed me

There are many great programs such as Room to Read which helps kids get a strong start in literacy. It is worth taking a look  – because it is very easy to help.

This post first appeared as part of the LinkedIn Influencer Content

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Comments

  1. Naomi, as the proud founder of Room to Read, I’m thrilled and honoured to see you promoting our cause. Thanks for that, and hope we get to meet up some day! –John Wood, Founder, Room to Read

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