From School Library Journal
PreS–A beautifully crafted, oversized anthology of approximately 60 lap rhymes, songs, clapping rhymes, and finger and foot rhymes, all presented with explanations and simple instructions for parents to play with their babies and toddlers. Most are familiar, but there are also a few that are less well known. Hillenbrand has framed the rhymes with lovely mixed-media pictures in an array of sherbet pastel colors with happy piggy families acting out the rhymes. The songs include simple musical arrangements for guitar and piano. A delightful accompanying CD includes 13 songs from the text, beautifully done with vivacious accompaniment. The result is a perfect book for one-on-one sharing–a feast for the eyes and the ears–as well as a wonderful compendium of first rhymes for the very young. A special selection that all new parents and grandparents will want to read again and again.–Judith Constantinides, formerly at East Baton Rouge Parish Main Library, LA
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*Starred Review* PreS. Collections of children's rhymes and songs, lap games and finger plays, are in no short supply--Marc Brown's compilations of the 1980s and Zita Newcome's Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes
(2003) represent just a few of the many in print--but this assured presentation by Yolen, who charmingly notes that "the lap is a kind of schoolroom," is likely to emerge as the most authoritative. Many of the entries in Yolen's much briefer Lap Time Song and Play
(1989) are duplicated here, but this boasts a broader scope (more than 60 interactive chants, rhymes, and songs) and a gorgeously crafted package, similar to Iona Opie and Rosemary Wells' Mother Goose Library. Annotations about each poem's provenance and instructions to parents appear in smaller type, while the poems themselves, arrayed with Hillenbrand's zestful, pig-themed illustrations, squarely target children. The selections range from the tried-and-true, such as "Eensy Weensy Spider," to the rarely seen, such as "A Gentleman of Wales," although some in the latter category, rich in early English colloquialisms and less-than-infectious rhythms, seem of more historical than practical interest. But given the collection's broad scope, families will inevitably emerge with new playtime standbys, and its many aesthetic rewards offer ample motivation to keep turning the pages. An accompanying CD provides jaunty interpretations of Stemple's piano-and-guitar arrangements for the songs. Jennifer MattsonCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved