Review of Go, Sled! Go!

Go, Sled! Go! Go, Sled! Go!
by James Yang; illus. by the author
Preschool, Primary    Viking    40 pp.
10/22    9780593404799    $18.99
e-book ed.  9780593404805    $10.99

This picture book that doubles as a beginning reader by Geisel-winner Yang (Stop! Bot!) follows a child sledding down a mountain and colliding with animals who become accidental passengers on the sled. The uncluttered graphic compositions are nearly all double-page spreads in icy shades of blue with pops of red and green and plenty of white space. Wintry illustrations keep focus on the words and actions as the sled runs into a bunny (“Oh, bunny! No!”) and then a snowman (“Oh, snowman! No!”). The classic (think Mr. Gumpy’s Outing) humorous-and-improbable setup grows wilder as the book unfolds—in this case, as a moose, a penguin, and a baker (complete with a stack of cakes!) join the menagerie on the increasingly crowded sled. The spare text relies heavily on the repetition of two-letter words and uses only three to eight words per spread, making this an achievable experience for the earliest readers and a fast-paced and funny read-aloud for everyone else. In the end, a mere snowflake tips the packed sled off the edge of a cliff, through a ski jump, and headfirst into a snowbank. The child asks, “Shall we go again?” The passengers shout “NO,” but young readers will shout “YES!”

From the January/February 2023 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Adrienne L. Pettinelli

Adrienne L. Pettinelli is the director of the Henrietta (NY) Public Library. She has served on several book award committees, including the 2015 Caldecott Committee, and is the author of Helping Homeschoolers in the Library (2008).

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