This is my daughters absolute favourite book and its good but I wouldn't call it an all time classic. Every night when I ask my little girl what she wants to read she pipes up with, "Ten little babies, " and I pipe up with a, "oh, really, don't you want to read something a bit more, story like," but no, this is her favourite and so we read it, again and again and again.
Ten little babies is properly read by actually singing the words to the tune of ten green bottles. I will give you an example of one of the verses:
Ten little babies on a sunny day.
Ten little babies left on the grass to play
And if one little baby should start to
There'd be nine little babies left on the grass to play.
I bet you've got that song in your head now. Anyway, and so on and so on until we reach the end. The premise of the story is that there are ten babies having a lovely time playing in the garden but then they all start to crawl, sail, fly, hop, etc away.
This book is good in that its a great way of teaching counting and numbers down from 10 to none and then back up again. My little girl is getting really good at knowing the sequence and can follow along as we sing quite easily. The illustrations are nice and cute and colourful and you can see all the fun things that the babies are doing in the garden. This is a really good book for pointing different things out in the pictures such as the sun, trees, a ball etc and on one page near the end there is a chance to try and find all the babies in the picture and see if you can collect them up again.
I like to read this to my little girl at bedtime because the book finishes in a really good way that really quite conducive for getting kids to bed. The line goes:
Ten little babies, its time they went to bed
Ten little babies, little sleepyheads
If we're very quiet..... Shhhh.....
And no one makes a peep
There'd be ten little babies all in their cots asleep.
I think that's a great way to then say to my kids, ok, the babies are all asleep and now it's your turn. Doesn't always work but its worth a try.
We have the paperback version from Bloomsbury, ISBN 978-1-4088-0462-9 and it costs £5.99.