Thursday, March 10, 2011

No, Dog. No!

Based on Allison's blog about the Runaway Bunny over at Motherhood, WTF?, I was inspired to write a review of my least loved children's book. Since I am new to the world of blogging, unsure of what a meme is, or how to get on the Character Assassination Carousel, I am going to write this blog and give credit to those who gave me the idea.

Photo Courtesy of Amazon.
According to the Amazon review, Go, Dog. Go! - "Life lessons? Romance? Literary instruction? Go, Dog. Go! offers all this and more, wrapped up in one simply worded, warmly hued package. Using single-syllable words in rhythmic repetition, and introducing colors and prepositions, this Seuss-styled classic has been an early favorite of children since 1961. For those looking for deeper meaning in a beginning reader book, here you'll find nothing less than a microcosm of life. Green dogs, yellow dogs, big dogs, little dogs. Dogs who prefer cars, dogs who favor skis. All represent the diversity a child will find in the world. And the slow-to-bud romance between the cheerfully oblivious yellow dog and the mincing pink poodle explains more succinctly than most self-help books what goes on in many grown-up relationships. Nonetheless, Eastman takes the concept of "primary" to heart, with his simple silly phrases and solidly colored illustrations. Not only will this book inspire peals of laughter in kids, it will also help them make the magical connection between those mysterious black squiggles on the page, and the words they hear and speak."

You have got to be effing kidding me.

There are more words in this review than there are in the entire book.

I adore reading. I love sharing my desire for books with my child. I get excited every time we crack open a new book. I am so proud of the fact that my child asks to sleep with her books at night instead of a teddy bear or soft bunny, however, this particular "children's classic" is the bane of my existence. There is no story line, no plot, nothing driving you through the 72 pages of idiotic dribble.

Apparently, these dogs live in a land devoid of people. They are on the streets driving cars, hanging from trees, floating in boats and life is a giant dog party. Obviously, there is no threat of a dog catcher, animal shelter or owner in their little doggie dream land (although everyone of them is wearing a collar) Some dress in human clothes, while others are just hanging out in their dogginess. Every 5 pages or so, a pink poodle wearing an ostentatious hat pops in to ask "Do you like my hat?".

This is the book that I hide. You would think in the disorganization of my home that once hidden, this book would stay hidden. Nope, every time that Z "finds" it, she curls her arms around it as though it was a lost National Treasure that she will never let go.

It is insanity. Dr. Seuss proved that one could write simple rhymes and prose while also connecting to the reader through a solid (yet simple) storyline. I am not sure how this book has lasted through 50 years of moronic dog chasing and yet it has.

I have begged Z to "Please, please let me read you anything, anything else. Please don't make me read this book again." and there I am reading, "Big dog. Little Dog. Black Dog. White Dog. Black & White Dogs". The pages are so bright that I feel as though my eyes might bleed as I turn each page. I am certain that I may develop corneal cancer from this "classic" eyesore.

As is often her routine, she falls asleep cuddling the bedtime story of the night, and, as guilty as I may feel prying this book from her tiny little fingers, I do so so that it can be hidden for another week or two.

I do it for my sanity. I do it for her future mental health (no good could possibly come from this book). I do it for the love of literature everywhere.

I do it because I am certain that Ms. Eastman was on heavy medication, facing what had to be a very expensive publishing deadline, while sipping martinis and giggling that people would actually pay money for this. I know that she didn't do it on purpose. Perhaps her kid did it as a joke. Perhaps she submitted it on the night before her institutionalization.

Whatever the reason, this particular joke with no punch line should be packed away to torture my daughter with someday. It should be in mint condition when her 3 year old discovers it. Maybe then I will get the joke.

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