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Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes Hardcover – October 1, 2008
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From School Library Journal
Starred Review. PreS—"There was one little baby/who was born far away./And another who was born/on the very next day./And both of these babies,/as everyone knows,/had ten little fingers/and ten little toes." So opens this nearly perfect picture book. Fox's simple text lists a variety of pairs of babies, all with the refrain listing the requisite number of digits, and finally ending with the narrator's baby, who is "truly divine" and has fingers, toes, "and three little kisses/on the tip of its nose." Oxenbury's signature multicultural babies people the pages, gathering together and increasing by twos as each pair is introduced. They are distinctive in dress and personality and appear on primarily white backgrounds. The single misstep appears in the picture of the baby who was "born on the ice." The child, who looks to be from Northern Asia or perhaps an Inuit, stands next to a penguin. However, this minor jarring placement does not detract enough from the otherwise ideal marriage of text and artwork to prevent the book from being a first purchase. Whether shared one-on-one or in storytimes, where the large trim size and big, clear images will carry perfectly, this selection is sure to be a hit.—Amy Lilien-Harper, The Ferguson Library, Stamford, CT
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*Starred Review* A standout for its beautiful simplicity, this picture-book collaboration between Fox and Oxenbury aims a message of diversity and tolerance at very young children. The first lines set up the text’s repetition and rhythm: “There was one little baby who was born far away. And another who was born on the very next day. And both of these babies, as everyone knows, had ten little fingers and ten little toes.” The subsequent spreads follow the same theme in similarly bouncing, rhyming lines: babies around the world may be different (one baby is born near ice, another in a desert tent), but the refrain of each baby’s 10 fingers and toes reminds us of what we all share. Oxenbury’s spare pencil-and-watercolor pictures, set against pure white pages, zero in on pudgy little hands and feet, offering many interactive opportunities for young viewers to point and count. Clusters of adorable multicultural babies from around the world toddle across the pages until just one child receives three kisses on the nose from her loving mom, a sweet gesture that parents will want to act out with their own children. A gentle, joyous offering. Preschool-Kindergarten. --Gillian Engberg
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-- my 14 month old loves the pictures and melody of the words,
-- my 3 year old asks questions about each of the babies,
-- my 4 year old...Read more