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Go, Dog Man, Go!
From the creator of captain underpants.
Miss Five's eyes lit up when she saw that this was a graphic novel. She is just learning to read and can often make out the words when the pictures are there to help. The shiny hard cover was also a plus as she said she was holding a "real" book and not a kiddy picture book! I said I would read it to her and she said she would help me out with some of the words!
It did not take long for us both to be engrossed in the story. She found it perfectly logical that Greg the Dog's head and Officer Knight's body were combined to make a new composite cop with the talents and skills of both, and said it was absolutely the most sensible thing to do. However, she soon started laughing when she learned that Dog Man had some interesting habits like slobbering all over people and rolling in smelly things like dead fish.
The story itself is fun - although it is basically fantasy, there are some worthwhile learning opportunities in it as well, like the characteristics of dry paper vs wet paper or the way that some dogs can be totally distracted by toys like balls. We stopped frequently to talk about the different things Dog Man did and whether or not we thought he was right. Lots of family members have dogs so, although Miss Five does not have one of her own, she is used to them and their unique ways!
She mastered the Triple Flip-o-Rama easily - her brother already has a couple of books with single Flip-o-Rama pages - and demonstrated how it worked so I could try it too. There are several of these pages - both single and triple - scattered throughout the book, featuring Dog Man involved in various hilarious activities. They are useful for hand-eye coordination as you have to hold the page just right to make it work.
There is a bonus activity at the end of the book: a cartoon worksheet for budding artists who would like to learn to draw Dog Man, Petey, Flat Petey, Flippy or Zuzu. I am hopeless at drawing but even my attempts were reasonable, and Miss Five produced some wonderful drawings. There are more activities on the pilkey.com website. This is a great way for children to get more enjoyment out of a book, and encourages them to go back and read it again.
Random listing from 'Books'...
This publication is one with a difference. With both historical and contemporary works, this extended edition of Michael Morrissey's original collection includes stories from four exciting new writers - Victoria McHalick, William Brandt, Chad Taylor and Sarah Quigley - alongside well-loved classics.
This publication is an invaluable resource for students of New Zealand literature and a treasured addition to the libraries and collections of all who enjoy New Zealand writing.
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"Computer games don't affect kids. I mean if Pac-Man affected us as kids, we'd all be running around in darkened rooms, munching magic pills and listening to repetitive electronic music."
Kristian Wilson, Nintendo, Inc, 1989