Ben and Bonnie’s babysitter, Skinny Doug, has a cool way to put his charges to sleep—with familiar rhymes. Familiar to him, that is. “Good night, sleep tight. / Hope the fleas don’t bite!” is one. “This Little Piggy” and “Pat-a-cake” are others. But they are new to the children, who say the same thing after each recitation: “‘We love it! We love it!’ said Bonnie and Ben. ‘How does it go? Will you say it again?’” Skinny Doug does not repeat, though. Instead he says, “I’ll tell you another. / I heard from my mother.” (This interplay does get the tiniest bit tired by the book’s end.) While a couple of the ditties will be new to American audiences (like “Round and round the garden / Like a teddy bear”), most will have children chanting along. The Quentin Blake–style pictures alternate between simple, warm scenes of Doug and his charges and the amusing ink-and-watercolor pictures that illustrate the rhymes, sometimes quite intricately. A fun book that will remind parents to pass along the golden oldies. Preschool-Grade 1. --Ilene Cooper
TEN LITTLE FINGERS AND TEN LITTLE TOES (by Mem Fox and Helen Oxenbury)
"An instant classic... there's real magic at work here." --PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
"Fox's lilting verse just has to be read aloud, and preschoolers will quickly pick up on and join in on the anticipated refrain." --THE HORN BOOK MAGAZINE
Starred reviews in PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, THE HORN BOOK MAGAZINE, SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL, and BOOKLIST
WHERE IS THE GREEN SHEEP? (by Mem Fox and illustrated by Judy Horacek)
"This neat and satisfying wedding of text and art... Laughs and interactive play will ensue among readers and listeners, alone or in groups." --BOOKLIST
POSSUM MAGIC (by Mem Fox and illustrated by Julie Vivas)
"A perfect choice for storytimes." --SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL
"Bedtime diversions and traditional rhymes are a winning combination here.
When Bonnie and Ben’s favorite baby sitter, Skinny Doug, offers a bedtime salute of “Good night, sleep tight. / Hope the fleas don’t bite!” he embarks on a command performance of seven traditional rhymes. The not-very-sleepy duo keeps him going, as he recites from his personal repertoire: “ ‘We love it! we love it!’ said Bonnie and Ben./ ‘How does it go? Will you say it again?’ ” This catchy refrain follows each of the resourceful baby sitter’s rhymes. To their entreaties to repeat each one, Skinny Doug replies, “I’ll tell you another / I learned from my mother.” After “Good night, sleep tight,” Skinny Doug offers “It’s raining, it’s pouring,” “This little piggie,” “Pat-a-cake,” “Round and round the garden,” “This is the way the ladies ride,” and “Star light, star bright.” The engaging, economical framing text is memorable and sweetly appealing, sure to encourage little listeners to participate. The finite number of rhymes introduced before the baby sitter hustles Bonnie and Ben off to sleep is just right: It’s enough for one sitting, where larger collections bring the inevitable negotiation about where to stop. Horacek’s simple, solid lines and primary colors are friendly, cheery and almost exuberantly inviting.
Sure to be requested and welcome for lapsits and reciting together any time of day." - Kirkus starred review