Leap for joy! Whistle and stretch, curl up and cuddle, wriggle and laugh with your favorite child. Judy Hindley's latest book is a tickly, giggly delight for parents and preschoolers. Her text, peppered with rhyme, along with Brita Granstrom's lively illustrations, invite readers to identify body parts and then get up and use them in play. It's great fun for the preschool set, and will have them moving, learning, and laughing.
A crew of friendly children demonstrates some of the amusing things kids (and grown-ups) can do with their bodies. Their smiles are contagious: Feel how it makes/your belly go/when you laugh /Ha-ha! /Hee-hee! /Ho-ho! Young children will have a blast imitating the moves: counting off fingers and toes, kissing, bending, bumping, and stomping. The acting and interacting opportunities are irresistible: A mouth is to yawn;/Open wide /See all the teeth and the tongue inside? And even grown-ups will find themselves hamming it up: A tongue is to talk/and to sing La-la! /La-la, /la-la, /la-la! The words lend themselves so effortlessly to imaginative and enthusiastic readings that even a distracted, grumpy three-year-old may be persuaded to listen and join in.
Says Hindley, This is a book to play with. I hope it encourages children to express and celebrate the sheer delight of owning a body. It certainly does, and in a refreshingly uninhibited, cheerfully goofy way.
Granstrom's good-natured children romp through rooms at home and play outside. Her scenes are full of activity, with a few quiet moments as well. Backgrounds are in a single muted color, with simple line-drawn details, which allow the bright, bouncy kids to really shine without being overwhelmed. The words themselves are visually appealing. There is plenty of variation in letter sizes and a playful disregard of margin alignment. Beginning readers will enjoy picking out letters in the super-sized words sprinkled throughout: Peek-a-boo! , Hooray! , Bump! Eyes, Nose, Fingers, and Toes is a warm book that celebrates the exuberance toddlers feel as they play. Read this book with a child you love, and get carried away together with the silliness and joy of it all.
Julie Anderson writes from Bell Buckle, Tennessee.