My dog did it!

It’s the oldest excuse in the book, but the story of a young girl and her imaginary dog getting into trouble make you believe it all over again…but before we get to that…

I’m a few weeks into this blog, and I’m really loving it.   My stats page tells me that people are reading it, which is even cooler!  If you are one of them (and I suppose, by definition, that you are) please feel free to comment on posts and tell me what you like and what you don’t.  Definitely want to hear if you picked up any of the books and/or tried any of the conversation starters!

Title: Really Truly Bingo
Author: Laura McGee Kvasnosky
: Picture Book
Age: 0 – 7

Summary and Review:

Bea’s mom is busy (one of the reasons I like the book already on page 1), and when Bea protests that there is nothing to play outside by herself, she tells Bea to “Use your imagination.”  Which she does.  She sits down on a bench in her yard and soon a dog shows up and says “hi”, to which Bea nonchalantly responds.  “I was hoping for a talking dog.”  Ah, to be a child again.  Bingo suggests lots of activities to Bea, beginning with the obvious “let’s do something we’re not supposed to do.”

When Bea’s mom comes out to find the hose running, the yard muddy and a loud radio and the crumbs of a snack outside, she listens to Bea’s story that “it was all Bingo’s idea.”  Despite not being able to see Bingo, Mom wisely suggest that Bea and Bingo clean up the mess together.

Possible conversations to have with your kids:

I suppose you could read this book and then talk to your kid about Bea being naughty, making messes, and lying to her mom about a dog that doesn’t exist, but I would argue that you would have really missed the point.  She wasn’t lying–she was using her imagination just like her mother suggested, and while she might have made a mess, it was merely the consequence of a child taking care of herself–playing outside, eating a snack, even playing herself some music.  So here’s some questions I might ask my toddler instead:

1) Is your mommy ever busy working like Bea’s mommy?  (Yes, a leading question, but we’re parents here, not lawyers…we should take advantage of that while we can.)

2) What do you like to do when mommy’s working?

3) Do you ever see an imaginary animal?  Would you like to?  Should we play with an imaginary animal right now, together?  (This I think could lead to a lot of fun.  If your child is a little young to be able to pretend an entire animal exists, maybe use a puppet or stuffed animal instead and help give life to him.  Pretend play is an important part of their developing creative minds!)

If you really like this one, Laura McGee Kvasnosky also wrote the Zelda and Ivy series, which I have yet to read, but have heard good things about.  And the fourth book won the Theodor Seuss Geisel Beginning Reader Award.  So that’s impressive.

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