While off in Arizona a couple of weeks back, Bergen (3.5 years old) and I decided to take a break from the hot and dry conditions of the Sonoran Desert, and instead imagined we were in cold and wet Alaska cheering on dog sled teams as they rushed past us. Why you might ask? Well, the Iditarod, dubbed “The Last Great Race” was officially starting that day, and we wanted to catch a little bit of the spirit.
Luckily we brought along one of the Sasquatch Books latest releases for children: The board book, Wiggle-Waggle Woof 1, 2, 3 by Cherie B. Stihler and Michael Bania. It’s a simplified version of the authors’ original story (Wiggle-Waggle Woof! Counting Sled Dogs in Alaska) making it the perfect tool to help my preschooler learn about dog sledding and the Iditarod in a fun and interactive way!
Page by page, the authors count from 1 to 12 (I love that they don’t stop at 10 like most counting books) using features of sled dogs or dog sled racing. The repeated phrase, “Wiggle-waggle, wiggle-waggle Woof! Woof! Woof!”, along with a whole lot of onomatopoeia makes for an entertaining read aloud. As I read, I encourage Bergen to say the refrain with me and we also act out the movements such as, “Eight dogs in line stretch snooze scratch” or “Eleven tails wagging swish swish swish”.
Since most young children can relate to the two main aspects of the book (dogs and counting), it’s easy to add a little learning into the reading session. We talked about simple aspects like the booties, harnesses, and lining up to race, and I asked Bergen questions like:
- Why do you think the dogs need booties for their paws?
- How does the harness help the dogs as they race?
- Why are the dogs lining up?
- Where are the dogs going?
The illustrations in this book engaged Bergen and I from the start. Stop to notice details, and I think you’ll find the whole thing quite hilarious! I’m no sled dog expert, but based on the illustrator’s (Michael Bania) pictures I’m guessing, like wrangling a group of young preschoolers, getting a group of dogs together is no easy feat! My favorite page depicting this playfulness and furry of activity is when “nine booties fall off”. Booties are flying all over the place and none of them located on paws where they should be, but rather on ears, noses, the end of tails, and in mouths!
I had affection for sled dogs before, but after diving into Wiggle-Waggle Woof I’m even more in love with these fascinating creatures!
Info to Know
- To purchase a copy of Wiggle-Waggle Woof 1, 2, 3, you can visit the Sasquatch Books website or journey over to our Wild Tales of…Travel and Adventure store!
- Format: Board Book, 7×5 1/2 inches, 20 pages
- Retail cost: $8.99
Do you follow the Iditarod? Ever been dog sledding? Tell us about it in our comment section!
Many thanks to Sasquatch books for providing a complementary copy for purposes of review. As always all opinions expresses here are my own.