Thursday, July 16, 2009

OK GO! Carin Berger

At first glance, Carin Berger's OK GO appears to be a relatively simple text. The first half of the book, or maybe even a little more, consists of tiny cars, done in collage, rushing all over the page. On each page, the word GO is written anywhere from 1-15 times, and embedded within the collage. Several pages only have the word GO written over and over again. Then, about two thirds of the way through the book, the word STOP appears in enormous letters, and all the cars come to a screeching halt.

The last page, a fold out double-wide, contains a surprise (or at least it was a surprise to me!) Again, the page is a collage of a whole bunch of different figures, but this time, each figure is doing something to save the earth. Written next to each little picture, is a little rhyming saying, e.g.
  • Waste less, Jess
  • Catch a ride, Clyde
  • Don't pollute, man-in-a-suit
  • Roller-skate Kate
  • Use your feet, Pete
  • Share, Clare
  • Save the planet, Janet . . . "
Looking back through the book, one realizes that the Save the Earth theme has run throughout the book. The collages are all made of recycled materials, e.g. ticket stubs and magazine ads. In the beginning collages, the background/sky is green, and gradually it gets brown/grayer and grayer, like it is becoming polluted. And then there is that fabulous end collage.

This is a fun book for a lot of reasons. Of course, it would be perfect for Earth Day, or a unit on recycling or pollution. I could use it in a lesson on inferring or foreshadowing, or paying close attention to the author's clues (I wasn't, and totally missed the message until the last page!) The illustrations would make it a perfect candidate for a unit on collage. And I could see emergent readers gravitating to the book's easily readable text. A great book for any elementary library!


C A R I N said...

Thank you so much for taking the time to review Ok Go! I love your ideas on ways to use the book as part of a curriculum.

Mary Lee said...

Sounds like a great one!