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Having a toddler means that I have more than a passing familiarity with that soul destroying musical genre known as Nursery Rhymes (shudder). My repertoire is limited and quite feeble and I find it very difficult to remember lyrics and actions, so help was definitely required! Thus it was with a great deal of relief that I saw that my daughter had received this book from her grandparents and I welcomed it with opened arms. ***Authors*** Sally Gardner has a huge list of children book credits to her name including I Coriander, Boy with the Lightening Feet and more books about fairies than even my fairy obsessed daughter could imagine! In this case however, she was responsible solely for the compiling of the rhymes and drawing the accompanying illustrations in this 64 page book. A very good job she has made of it too! ***Previous Reviewers Comments*** A real must for any nursery or playgroup Nursery World No nursery, reception class, carer, parent, grandparent or child under six should be without it. An absolute delight School Librarian This lovely big book contains all the under-fives favourite rhymes Mother and Baby ***The Book*** The book itself is an easy to share size at 25.8 x 25.8 x 1.2 cm with thicker than normal paper pages. The cover is very inviting with its elephants, but it is also simple and easy to find in a cluttered book box or shelf. The first two and last two pages are beautifully decorated with some of the characters from the rhymes within and they are a lovely introduction to the songs within. The 37 action rhymes (only 36 are on the CD) are a good mixture of old favourites e.g. Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush, If You Are Happy And You Know It and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star; with a few ones that were totally new to me e.g. Dinosaur Soup and An Elephant. Each rhyme is given a page or two (or a half page for the four line ones), which allows the lines to be well spaced out and easy to read so I dont find myself squinting at the page trying to work out exactly where we are in the song. Each rhyme is presented differently, for example Incy Wincy Spider is squeezed into a long narrow space between several water spouts and reading the Grand Old Duke of York necessitates turning the book on to its side! The illustrations that accompany the rhymes are superb and compliment the rhymes perfectly. They are amusing, detailed and totally appealing to the under-fives, being extremely bright and colourful. It means that non-readers can see immediately what the rhyme in question is about and it provides much more scope for discussion that merely singing and acting the song out. It also makes a book that children can take away and look at by themselves, as with hundreds of little pictures it doesnt need an adult to help translate the meanings. In the course of writing this review my daughter has been hanging around me constantly, flipping the pages, encouraging me to sing the rhymes and on several occasions has taken it away to her table and chair to look at on her own. It has certainly increased the time taken to write this review but has also impressed on me just how much my daughter loves this book and how much pleasure she gets out of it. ***The CD*** The accompanying CD is 50 minutes long and features 36 of the rhymes from this book. I believe that the picture on the CD is the same as the one on the front cover, but I cannot be entirely sure as the CD lives permanently in the car and we would not contemplate a long journey without it! The songs are sung by Heather Chivers and Angela Dijksman, who have lovely clear and friendly voices, accompanied at a various times by percussion instruments and a guitar. I found it very easy to pick up the tunes I hadnt heard before by listening to them singing and now I can sing all the tunes in the book, albeit in a tone deaf and glass-cracking fashion! We have gone through quite a few nursery rhyme CDs and I have to say that this is absolutely the best one we have come across and certainly the one that my daughter has enjoyed the most, i.e. listened to for more than ten seconds before saying OFF!. ***Final Comments*** I would totally recommend this book and CD set to anyone with a young child, or anyone who knows anyone with a young child. This is the best nursery rhyme set I have come across and it is beautifully presented, illustrated and sung; all in such a way that appeals to both parents and children. There are very few songs that I skip when listening to the CD or reading the book, very different from the other books we own. It would make an absolutely fabulous gift, hopefully the recipients will be as grateful as we are! ***Price and ISBN*** ISBN: 0752860887 The sticker on the back says £9.99. Amazon are selling it for £6.99 or you can get it from £4.60 in the Amazon Marketplace.
All the familiar playground rhymes and more, sung for under fives to join in with and follow the words.