I’m late! I’m late! For a VERY important date!
It’s my favorite day of the week– Perfect Picture Book Friday, where I get to review my pick for the week. Once again, I’m tardy because it’s been a manic week… what with a copywriting assignment, some good networking and fellowship events, and tons of school activities… oh, and plus tennis, which has once again been taking up a lot of my time. Boo! (Well, it’s only “boo!” when I lose. If I win, tennis is the Best. Sport. EVER!) 😉
So here’s my selection for this week, Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes written by the legendary Mem Fox (and beautifully illustrated by Helen Oxenbury). I was surprised that no one has reviewed this for PPBF before. Yes, it’s simple and light with a grand total of 184 words. But it’s charming and, I think, quite brilliant with its simple rhyme and soothing repetition. It reminds me of the lullaby-like quality of Goodnight Moon (another favorite, of course!) I didn’t discover it until after Ian was too old for such books, but had I known about it when he was a baby and toddler, I’m sure this would have been a bedtime favorite. It’s gorgeous!
Written by: Mem Fox
Illustrated by: Helen Oxenbury
Suitable for: Babies and toddlers (and even older children who love rhyming books and babies!)
Themes/Topics: Simply put, this is a soothing book for little ones. It’s essentially a book about babies… for babies. The rhyme and rhythm and repetition make it great for bedtime. However, on a secondary level, it can also be seen as a book about tolerance and multiculturalism… though this is understated.
There was one little baby
who was born far away.
And another who was born
on the very next day
And both of these babies,
as everyone knows,
had ten little fingers,
and ten little toes
Synopsis: There’s really no “story” here– it’s simply a global look at babies of all colors, shapes and sizes. We (the reader) see the babies when they first come to this world, and ultimately we see them all interacting with each other playfully. It seems to have an underlying message of “Let’s all get along. After all, babies DO!” This one has 42 five-star reviews on Amazon. The phrasing is wonderful and the watercolor illustrations draw you in, “oohing” and “aahhing” at the adorable cherubs with their tiny fingers and toes. For older children (read: toddlers), each page offers up an opportunity to learn to count. Bottom line: If it isn’t hailed as one already, this one is destined to be a classic.
Why I Like This Book: For the reasons stated above– brilliant, lyrical rhyme and sublime underlying message… wonderful watercolor illustrations showing babies with the most adorable expressions… and, of course, it’s by my hero(ine), Mem! I’d highly recommend this as a gift for ALL new moms and dads. I wish I had this around when Ian was a wee one.
For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.