Front Feet, Back Feet... Feet, Feet, Feet!

The Foot Book by Dr. Seuss

This is another book that I salute for having a rhythm that is perfectly suited to its content. Like Chugga-Chugga Choo Choo by Kevin Lewis, which has the rhythm of a train, this book about feet has a "marching" rhythm.

Here is how it begins:

Left foot
Left foot
Right foot

Feet in the day
Feet in the night

Doesn't it sound like marching? I think so anyway.

It goes on:

Up feet
Down feet
Here come clown feet!

(My husband likes to say "Broken arm clown feet" for that last line because Seuss has taken some artistic liberties on one of the clown's elbows...)

I happen to like crazy elbows!

Anyway, bravo, Seuss! Another brilliant book.

Four Fluffy Feathers on a Fiffer Feffer Feff!

Dr. Seuss's ABC: An Amazing Alphabet Book

I like sharing this book with Eliza. She is too little to learn her ABCs, but since she is learning to speak, I like that this book covers the range of sounds of our language.

The text follows pretty much the same formula for every letter:

It is a lot of text for a baby, as you can see. I don't read all of the text every reading, necessarily-- if she is getting impatient and turns the page, we just skip a letter that time. I generally read no more than two letters per spread (some spreads feature up to four letters).

As you can expect with Dr. Seuss, the rhythm, rhyme, and nonsense humor are perfectly honed.

This book and Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You?, There's a Wocket in My Pocket, and The Foot Book are our favorite Dr. Seuss books for her right now (I'll review them later). Many of the others have just too much text at the moment...though I have already purchased The Cat in the Hat and Oh, the Places You'll Go! for her... for later!

It's Very Good to Hear with Ears!

The Ear Book
by Al Perkins, illustrated by Henry Payne

This is such a good one! Eliza has lots of "Bright and Early Board Books," and this one is one of my favorites. The text has great rhythm and rhyme for reading aloud.

Here is an example:

The art style, the characters, and places feel like they are from a quieter time decades ago (this was published in 1968). I like that a lot.

The text has some Dick-and-Jane-esque repetition, with sentences like:

It's good. It's good to hear with ears!

And yet it's not dry to read.

Highly recommended.

It's very good to read the ear book!

We Like Your Spots. We Like You Too!

Put Me in the Zoo
Written and illustrated by Robert Lopshire

This little "Bright and Early Board Book" was a hand-me-down book from another family. We like it so much, I bought it for my sister's baby. It's about some strange creature who is desperate to get put in the zoo, and to prove he belongs there, he shows how he can make his spots change color. The two astounded children in the story suggest he might be better off in the circus. And there you have it.

If you don't mind the weird premise (please put me in a cage!), the book has a lot of visual excitement for little babies. The contrasting spots change from page to page. Our baby would actually grab the page to turn it back and look at the spots on the previous page again, like she was noticing the color change.

Babies love bright, contrasting patterns!

The text is an homage to long vowel sounds, with a particular emphasis on the "oo" sound. It is very sing-songy and fun to read. And easy to memorize without even trying!

One critique-- I think there is a missed opportunity at the end. When we see the circus on the last page, we just see the tents from the outside, from a distance. If someone didn't know the circus (like the very young children reading this book), how would they understand why this strangely talented creature belonged there? Even just a couple of monkeys on unicycles would have done it...