Save Big On Open-Box & Used Products: Buy "A Great Big Cuddle: Poems for the Very Young” from Amazon Open-Box & Used and save 27% off the $19.99 list price. Product is eligible for Amazon's 30-day returns policy and Prime or FREE Shipping. See all offers from Amazon Open-Box & Used.
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ Free Shipping
+ Free Shipping
A Great Big Cuddle: Poems for the Very Young Hardcover – September 22, 2015
|New from||Used from|
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Special offers and product promotions
From School Library Journal
Toddler-PreS—This collection of silly rhymes and poems is sure to please the prereading crowd. Most of the entries are a page or less, and although they are often nonsense, they are notable for their joyful rhymes and bouncy rhythm. The text often echoes the style of traditional nursery rhymes, working with nonsense words and made-up characters to bring fun and action to poetry. The illustrations are large and playful and vary in style from very realistic to out of this world but will surely appeal to babies and toddlers. The large format makes this title good for sharing, and children will likely find favorite poems that they will wish to hear again and again. VERDICT An excellent choice for prereaders and very young children, as well as anyone with a love for nursery rhymes.—Ellen Norton, Naperville Public Library, Naperville, IL
This collection of silly rhymes and poems is sure to please the prereading crowd...An excellent choice for prereaders and very young children, as well as anyone with a love for nursery rhymes
—School Library Journal (starred review)
Riddell's fluid watercolor-and-pencil illustrations bring a grace to each poem, no matter what its subject, and he depicts many ethnicities of children...Despite (or perhaps because of) the odd bits, this book successfully celebrates the private, gleeful, imaginative world of toddlers.
Nonsense words and jaunty rhymes pack the oversize pages of this beautifully illustrated collection of poems...Preschoolers probably won’t sit still for the entire collection at once, but individual selections are likely to get them moving to the lively beat.
As for A Great Big Cuddle, don’t be surprised if your copy of the book becomes the most tattered collection of poetry in your home. That’s okay. The most loved become the most well-worn.
The oversized volume is beautifully designed and laid out, and at his best Rosen writes with echoes of great childhood poets such as Milne (as in the domestic simplicity of "Coming Home") and Lear (in the nonsensical joys of "Once").
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
Thirty-five poems greet you. Thirty-five varying in complexity and content. Just to set the tone, the first rhyme is “Tippy-Tappy” and it contains such a catchy rhythm and happy beat that kids will be bouncing in tandem by the time it is done. Next is “The Button Bop”, limited in word count, high on bops. Accompanied by the vibrant watercolors of artist Chris Riddell, each poem aims to set itself apart from the pack. Some are short, and some slightly longer. Some are anxious or scared while others beat their chests and roar their loudest. It feels like there’s something for everyone in this collection, but the takeaway is how well it holds together. A treasure in a treasury.
Michael Rosen isn’t a household name in United States, but I’d say at least one of his books is. Anyone who has ever sought out or read “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt”, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury has read his words. We’re just nuts about that book, and we have him to thank for it. Despite that, he’s not an author to relegate himself to just one kind of story. Indeed, I haven’t seen him produce much of anything quite as young as “Bear Hunt” in years (or, at the very least, I haven’t seen works of his brought to U.S. shores this “young” in content). That’s why this book is such a surprise and a delight.
If you have a small child, you grow accustomed to the classic nursery rhymes. They have, after all, withstood the test of time. Still, roundabout the one hundred and fortieth time you’ve read “Bye, Baby Bunting” you long for something a little different. Imagine then the palpable sense of relief such a parent might feel when reading jaunty little poems like “What a Fandango!” starring (what else?) a mango. The thing about Rosen is that so many of his poems feel as if they’ve been in the canon of nursery rhymery for centuries. “Oh Dear” is very much in the same vein as “Hush, Little Baby” all thanks to its regular rhythm and repetition. “Party Time” counts down and brings to mind “This Old Man” in reverse. And should you be under the misbegotten understanding that writing poems of this sort is easy, go on. Write one yourself. Now fill a book with them. I’ll just wait right here and finish my sandwich.
It is also worth noting that without including any verbal instructions, even the dullest of parental readers will catch on pretty early that many of these poems are interactive. Consider “Finger Story” where your fingers are instructed to do everything from “wake up” and “stretch” to “climb” and “slide”. And just in case they’re still not getting it, Chris Riddell’s art is on hand, showing a pudgy youngster and an orangutan of uncommon sweetness walking their fingers together on the ground.
What is interesting to me here is that in terms of age of the reader, Rosen isn’t limiting himself solely to toddlers. There are a couple poems in here that preschoolers would probably appreciate more than their drooling, babbling brethren. “I Am Hungry”, for example, stars a hungry bear listing everything he could eat at this moment (both the usual fare and unusual selections like “A funny joke” or “The sound of yes”) ending with “Then I’ll eat me” which is just the right level of ridiculousness to amuse the canny four-year-old. And “Don’t Squash” is going to ramp up the silly levels pretty effectively when a splatter happy elephant is instructed not to squash her toes, nose, a bun, the sun, cars, stars, a fly, or the very sky.
Now just the slightest glance of a gander at the back bookflap of this book and you’ll get an eyeful of the sheer talent Rosen has been paired with over the years. His words have been brought to life by folks no less eminent than Helen Oxenbury, Quentin Blake, Bob Graham, and more. Truth be told, I don’t really know if this is his first book with Chris Riddell or not. I will say, though, that when I saw that Riddell was the artist on this title I was surprised. When last seen in the States, Riddell had illustrated that nobly intentioned but ultimately awful Russell Brand “Pied Piper of Hamlin”. Nothing against Riddell, of course, he did what he could with the material (“Clockwork Orange” Piper and all). So usually when I see his work I associate it with children’s books a bit more on the hardcore side of the equation. Neil Gaiman and Paul Stewart and the like. Could he do adorable? Could he dial back the disgusting? Yes, yes, and (for good measure) yes again. He has that thing we like to call in the business “talent”. Seems to suit him, it does.
Riddell also seems capable of occasionally re-interpreting Rosen’s rhymes with a particularly child-centric view. The poem “Are You Listening?” felt wildly familiar to me, for example. On the left-hand page sits a guilty dinosaur, slurping a piece of spaghetti, looking mildly nervous. On the right-hand page a toddler is berating a small dinosaur stuffed animal, and it will be very easy indeed for kids looking at the picture to extrapolate the relationship between the realistic dino on the left-hand page, and the one on the right. Sometimes I even got the impression that he was softening the content a tad. The poem “Winter” is one of splinters and blisters, but thanks to the gentle hand of Riddell it turns into a snuggly bear hug with mom. All this and he makes the book multicultural as well. Manifique.
Is it very British? With an author from London and an artist from Brighton it runs the risk of indulging in a bit of English chicanery. There wasn’t much that struck me as containing a particular sense of humor, though, with the possible exception of the poem “Once”. A thoroughly silly but darker little work, it will probably remind Yankee readers more of Shel Silverstein than the aforementioned Seuss. There is also “Lost”, the story of a small mouse all alone, without any particular happy resolution in sight. Had such a poem appeared in a collection for small children originally in the States, I don’t think it’s ridiculous to think that an American editor would have gently nudged the author away from ending the poem with the somewhat dire, “I don’t know, I don’t know, anything at all. / I’m going to sit still now and just look at the wall.”
The least respected form of children’s literature in existence is poetry. It hasn’t any American Library Association awards it can win. It typically is remembered by teachers in April and then never thought of again. But nursery rhymes fare a bit better. Not every parent remembers to read them to their children, but a fair number try. Getting those same parents to read original works of poetry to their little kids can be trickier, so it helps if you package your book as a big, beautiful, lush and gorgeous gift book. Delightful to read aloud again and again (a good thing since I’m afraid you will have to, if only to please your rabid pint-sized audience) and lovely to the eye, Rosen and Riddell aim for the earliest of ages and end up creating a contemporary classic in the process. It may not be Seuss but you won’t miss him while you read it. A necessary purchase for any new parent. A required selection for libraries and bookstores everywhere. Or, as the book puts it, “Tippy-tappy / Tippy-tappy / Tap, tap, tap.”
For ages 0-4
I have four daughters with the youngest turning 3 so I've done a LOT of reading to small people. These have wonderful rhythms, some even with different words in different colors so you can easily see where it is fun to teach the toddler to say a refrain with you. We loved tapping the beat while reciting the poem. The pictures are great and the topics range from being angry to being hungry to playing pretend. The poems are short enough that they hold a young one's attention--though my 2.5 yr-old sat through all 80 pages one day! This would be a good book for any baby 18 months to 4-5 years. Then it would be a great one for young elementary students to learn to read and recite poetry.