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Gift Books with Drama, Rhythm, and Rhyme

by Susie Wilde

*Originally appeared in the November/December 2013 issue of Kids & Books.*

[Editor's note: This is an excerpt. Susie Wilde's complete annual guide to recent children's books recommended for giving and sharing (Great Gift Books, 2013) can be found in the NoveList Plus databases.]

Baby, Toddler and Preschool Gifts

For babies and toddlers, choose a book that will thrill them so much they beg you to re-read it. Seek books that have drama, rhythm and rhyme, and possibilities for interaction. The best ones will also please adults during repeat readings.


Wee Rhymes: Baby’s First Poetry Book by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Jane Dyer (Simon and Schuster, 2013, ages 0-4)

Two experts in the field, now both grandmothers, collaborate on more than 100 poems. The verses span a slew of moods, rhythms, and situations. The art is big, bold, and engaging. Yolen’s words and Dyer’s images combine for an heirloom book.

 


 


Have You Seen My New Blue Socks? by Eve Bunting (Clarion, 2013, ages 0-5)

A little green duck proclaims: “I have lost my new blue socks/Did I put them in my box?” Bunting’s bouncy rhyming rhythms are a perfect match for Duck’s frenetic search and his appeals to friends for help add a cumulative refrain that adds more opportunities for children to participate in the story.

 


 


Tiptoe Joe by Ginger Foglesong Gibson (Greenwillow, 2013, ages 1-4)

Tiptoe Joe is a bear with a secret and this creates a tension for the curious animals who follow him, as well as for readers. Young listeners are invited to join in the story with the simple rhyming pattern, animal noise-making and a catchy refrain.

 


 


One Gorilla: A Counting Book by Anthony Browne (Candlewick, 2013, ages 3-6)

This is ever so much more than a counting book! The illustrations are realistically rendered with just a touch of playfulness as Browne portrays simians from 1 gorilla to 10 lemurs. In a surprising ending, he brings in the human connection in a way that extends this book for wondering older children.

 

 

 

[Editor's note: This is an excerpt. Susie Wilde's complete annual guide to recent children's books recommended for giving and sharing (Great Gift Books, 2013) can be found in the NoveList Plus databases.]


Susie Wilde (www.ignitingwriting.com), a read-aloud advocate and children's book crusader for over thirty years, has reviewed for magazines and newspapers and shared her favorite titles with children, parents, and teachers.