Hot Dog, Cold Dog

Story Summary

This board book with a child-friendly rhyme creates fun, new ways to think about dogs with big, bright pictures that bring the short phrases to life. 

Talk Before Reading

The front and back covers of Hot Dog, Cold Dog are full of dogs–dogs in all kinds of situations. Take a few minutes to look at all the dogs and ask a question or two to give practice looking for details. The details in the pictures will change the way a reader understands the story.

I see a dog wearing a hat. Can you find him? 

Expect that learning to find details in pictures will take practice. If this is a new activity for your child, helping him point to the object you mentioned is perfect.

Here’s the dog with the hat! We found him! Yay!

Talk While Reading

This is a book with very few words, but the pictures add new ideas beyond dogs.

For example, only nine words appear on a two-page spread about slow and fast:

Likes to travel slow dog

Go, go, go, dog!

The travel slow dog is riding on the back of a turtle. Is your child familiar with the habits of turtles?  Pausing to add a little comment to help your child know what to expect from turtle-travel can cement the connection of the text to the picture of a dog on a turtle.

Riding on a turtle would sure be a slow way to go anywhere!

The go, go, go dog happens to be wearing roller skates. Point to the skates.

This dog has skates! He can go fast!

Your small comments add to his understanding and enjoyment of the book.

While the connecting thread on every page is certainly dogs, a fun sideline to this book is finding pictures of other small objects. Look for the hot drink on most pages (call it tea or call it coffee–whatever your child is used to seeing) and the rabbits. The rabbits show up in unexpected colors and corners. Your child will feel proud when he spots a rabbit!

Talk Later

Anytime you and your child cross paths with something that reminds you of a book recently shared, grab the chance to draw a connection between what you are seeing and what you have read. 

Look! That boy is wearing skates! He is like go, go, go, dog!

Using a phrase from the story in a here-and-now situation can help grow your child’s language.


Hot Dog, Cold Dog by Frann Preston-Gannon. POW! 2014.

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