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This is a book called Happy Dog Sad Dog by Sam Lloyd. This was given to my daughter as part of the Bookstart scheme. (Bookstart is a national scheme which aims to get children and their parents reading from as early an age as possible. The scheme provides children with a free pack when they are under a year, then again at 18-30 months and 3-4 years.) This book was the winner of the 2003 Sainsbury's Baby Book Award.
It is a hardback book, with brightly coloured drawings inside aimed at babies and young toddlers. It has sturdy cardboard pages which makes it easier for small hands to turn. Opposites are shown through the book using two dogs, 'big dog' with a picture of a big dog and then on the page opposite 'little dog' with obviously a picture of a little dog. It is a good length book with 16 pages so perfect starter for small children.
I think this is a lovely book to start looking through with your baby as an introduction to books. My daughter has had this copy for around a while now and still enjoys it each time we read it, she used to laugh at the dogs antics and touching the pictures. She will be 3 in March and enjoys 'reading' it to me now!
I would recommend this book to other parents.
This was one of the books that came free with our Bookstart pack when our daughter was about 8 months old (*see note).
The back of this book explains that this was the winner of the Sainsbury's Baby Book Award. But despite this endorsement, on first glance I wasn't overly impressed with this book. The book itself is a card book designed for babies, and is square with rounded edges. The cover illustration is childlike and simple and depicts two dogs - one happy, one sad.
The illustrations throughout the book are in the same vein - very simple and all the pictures are block colours. Each page has literally two words, with the opposite description on the facing page - ie hairy dog / bald dog; awake dog / asleep dog.
But on closer inspection, this is one of those books that is effective because it is so simple. The illustrations very clearly depict what is said below it so it is ideal for young children to pick up different words by looking at the pictures. MissD particularly likes the asleep dog ("shhhh.... night night!"). You can also use different tones of voice when you read it, giving extra emphasis to certain words (not sure how you can use your voice to suggest hairiness and baldness but you can try).
So - never judge a book by its cover - it isn't the most beautiful of books at first glance, but it is a good book to look at with very young babies and children, who will be attracted to the simplicity of the illustrations and words.
* For those of you who don't know, Bookstart is a national scheme which aims to get children and their parents reading from as early an age as possible. The scheme provides children with a free pack when they are under a year, then again at 18-30 months and 3-4 years. The pack contains a few books and some laminated nursery rhymes, and lots of information leaflets. The packs are government funded and also sponsored by a range of companies, and can be picked up at health centres, children's centres and libraries. If you have a child that is in one of the age groups, you're entitiled to a pack! Check out www.bookstart.org.uk for more information.
I was given this little book when I went took my boy for his 9 month check with the health visitor as a freebie to encourage parents to read with their children.
I have read to my boy from an early age, and although he enjoys most books, some have more appeal than others. Happy Dog Sad Dog became a firm favourite almost from the first time we read it together, and remains one of his most requested books now (at 18 months my boy happily trundles off to the pile of books to pick out a favourite to bring back to sit on my lap for me to read - ahh!).
Happy Dog Sad Dog is a short little board book - about 15 - 20cms square so nice annd chunky to be held by little hands. It is just 16 pages long (so not long enough for mum or baby to get bored).
The "story" if you can call it that, is a simple little tale of opposites, illustrated through little Dogs - so on each page, you have two dogs with opposite expressions - happy dog, sad dog; hot dog, cold dog; and my particular favourite hairy dog, bald dog etc etc. It is a great way to introduce little ones to different concepts and gives good opportunity for lots of funny voices when reading the book.
I think why this book has such appeal is the really brightly coloured simple illustrations which leap off the page. The pictures are simply drawn so are easy for little ones to identify with.
If you haven't come across this happy little book, then I highly recommend you do so - entertaining for both mum and boy!
A delightful yet simple little board book that, despite becoming somewhat worn around the edges, I have now had for over four years, and is continuing to delight a third child, after having been a favourite of the previous two! Simple, bright, cartoon style dogs add to the visually stimulating read. Basic text with corresponding pictures show easily identifiable and recognisable emotions for children, allowing them great fun in recreating these through both tone of speech and physical display, whilst reinforcing the concept of opposites. The final pages, showing all the different dogs ('lots of dogs') around a kennel as opposed to an empty kennel ('no dogs'), gives an opportunity to reinforce the learning aspect of this book, by showing all the dogs and encouraging the child to both identify the emotions of each dog and to pair them up into opposites. A highly recommended book, that has been and continues to be an invaluable bedtime read.
We received this book free when my daughter had her eight month check with the health visitors. Ever since that point she has shown a great interest in books which pleases me greatly as so much learning can be achieved just through reading a book and looking at the pictures.
Happy Dog Sad Dog is a board book aimed at babies and young toddlers. It has mainly pictures rather than word but the book is based around dogs.
Straight away it captures the child's attention when the book is opened as the colours are bright, both the background and the corresponding colours of the pictures.
A short book at just sixteen pages, this seems to be the right length for my young toddler as she soon loses interest and is off to explore something else.
Happy Dog Sad Dog is based around the principle of opposites and teaching them to young children.
Each double page is set out well to show two dogs, both the same picture but making them opposite in one way which is obvious to the reader.
For example the first page shows a happy dog and a sad dog. The pictures are done very simply and there are no frills, but they are done well to be attractive to a young eye, making them easy to understand.
The happy dog is noted by his big smile and the sad one by his large frown. These simple features make a large statement and encourage children to understand the difference between simple lines on a face.
The other opposites in the book focus around hot and cold, long and short, big and small, hairy and smooth, sleepy and awake.
Each page has a different type and coloured dog with the different features.
Reading this over and over with my daughter we have found she reacts differently to certain dogs. We like to emphasis the cold dog quite a lot, and she has since learnt to lift her shoulders up to her face to imitate being cold.
The hairy dog we have realised she likes to stroke as we have imitated it having fur even though the book isn't textured.
When we first received this book, I wasn't that impressed with it. It's only since I have read the book over and over I have realised what great underlying qualities it has. There are not many words in the book at all, but as a parent we can create stories to go with the pictures depending on our daughter's mood and attention span at the time.
I would recommend this book as a first book for children and as they get older it can be expanded when they point out different parts in the book and we can create stories to fit the pictures.
The book itself is a board book as I mentioned but it's a very sturdy board book. Each page is very thick making it easy for little hands to grasp and attempt to turn the pages. After a few months of use, we have found the book stays in very reasonable condition which is a plus point for many of the books we have had that have been wrecked very easily.
You can pick this up for £3.79 from Amazon however if you're lucky it might be included in your suretsart book start book pack at the eight month check.
Written by Sam Lloyd.
Happy Dog, Sad Dog is a really simple idea for a baby book and deals with the subject of opposites.
To be honest I was not expecting too much from this book because the cover did not appeal to me but my 14 month old granddaughter has really taken to it.
Opposites are shown using two dogs and my granddaughter giggles at them as one does the complete opposite to the other. She laughs out loud at the 'Clean Dog, Dirty Dog' page because I put on a deep voice to say Dirty Dog and she points to him like he's much more fun than the clean dog!
The pictures are wonderfully simple and look to me like the kind of cartooney drawings I see on a daily basis on the Cbeebies channel. My granddaughter strokes the dogs faces so the illustrator has definitely made them lifelike to a baby's eye even if they look a little bit too basic to me. I love the use of the bright colours on each page as they draw my granddaughters eye quite deliberately from one page to another which is another way the book accentuates the opposites.
My granddaughter is particularly fond of the 'Hot Dog, Cold Dog' which is partly because her dad puts on the actions of a dog getting too hot, and then getting too cold. He has me in stitches but I can see why she looks at him strangely sometimes while he's reading the book, she finds it very funny though and will sometimes flick back to that page so he has to do it again!
I think this is a lovely way to start your baby off with books. My granddaughter has had her copy for around a month and enjoys it each time we read it, she laughs at the dogs antics and because it's written in such bright and vibrant colours it holds her interest well. I think it would suit an older toddler just as well because they will have a better grasp of opposites, and thinking about it this book would be a decent reference point for an even older child who is learning about opposites at nursery.
Happy Dog, Sad Dog is the perfect length I think for babies and toddlers, it's 16 pages long and because the pages are so attractive to the eye my granddaughter will sit down for long enough for us to get through the whole book. The fact that she doesn't get bored is testament to how brilliant this book is!
My neighbour passed this to me with a bag of baby books and clothes, her granddaughter had used it for two years and the book was still in immaculate condition. The board made to make Happy Dog, Sad Dog is second to none and after my granddaughter had had a good chew last night (back teeth slowly emerging) there are practically no marks on the pages - and her gums are strong enough to mark my finger!
You can buy a copy of Happy Dog, Sad Dog from Amazon for £3.59 and I think this is money well spent for such a lovely book that your baby is sure to enjoy.