We nearly forgot our Wednesday Watermelon Award this week, because I was having so much fun viewing this site. (What is a Watermelon Award? I described it here.) Since I'm doing this one a bit last minute, forgive my lack of rewriting the review to read from the little guy's perspective. We're selecting a book that he received for his first birthday and has enjoyed immensely ever since.
This week's watermelon award goes to...
Let's Listen: Nursey Rhymes for Listening and Learning (Mother Goose) (Board book), by Studio Mouse. This book was a gift and an unexpected delight. For awhile, we listened to it every day, giving us a new activity to fill the long winter days. He will occasionally bounce up and down (his "dancing"), look longingly at the CD player, and start saying something along the lines of "Mmmm! A-dee! Neee!" until I put it on. Our three favorites are the first three songs - The Farmer in the Dell, Old King Cole, and Sing a Song of Sixpence. He is pretty good about reading the book at the same time, although near the end he'll start to just flip around. I enjoyed this one so much that I started pulling the CD's out of the other books we had that had come with music that we had just ignored. Most of them were awful, making me appreciate this one all the more. One caveat: every now and then, he will become terrified of the book and music and we'll have to put it away for awhile. Why? We'll have to wait until he can tell us.
Rhymes include: The Farmer in the Dell; Old King Cole; Sing a Song of Six Pence; Little Miss Muffet; Gingerbread Man; Hickory, Dickory, Dock; Little Bo Peep; Jack and Jill; Star Light, Star Bright; Mary Mary Quite Contrary; Hey Diddle Diddle; Rain Rain Go Away; and Yankee Doodle.
Infant's Interest: He especially likes the last line of Farmer in the Dell...you can see him gearing up for it before it comes: "Hi-Ho, the derry-o/The farmer in the dellllllll." Always makes him smile.
Parent's Peeve: Animals as people. Old King Cole is a frog for instance. When he points to him I have to explain, "That's Old King Cole. And a Frog. Old King Cole is a frog, but only in this book." Or worse, ambiguous animal characters: "That's Jack and Jill. They are bears. Or porcupines. Or moles." It is still a great book, though!
And while we're on the subject of music and nursery rhymes, here are a few others from our shelves:
Nursery Rhyme Songs (Hardcover), by Studio Mouse. This book is treated more like a toy than a book in our house, but it is a favorite. Five of the six nursery rhymes include a foam pull-out shape with an image matching that page's rhyme. Once he figured out how to pull them out himself, he would sit happily grabbing them for hours (if we put them back each time).
Rhymes include: Head and Shoulders, Knees, and Toes; Wheels on the Bus; Bingo; Baa Baa Black Sheep; Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star; and Three Blind Mice.
Parent's Peeve: I only tried the CD once, and it didn't appeal to me, but I can't review it fairly because I truly can't remember it. I prefer the choice of rhymes in "Let's Listen" overall.
Hickory, Dickory, Dock: And Other Favorite Nursery Rhymes (Padded Nursery Rhyme Board Books) (Board book), by Sanja Rescek. This is a perfectly nice, large, padded board book full of nursery rhymes. For some reason, it doesn't keep our bookworm's attention, though. The illustrations are a bit muted - not exactly pastel, but not wildly bright either. I don't know if that has anything to do with it. Sometimes I just can't figure out why he prefers one book over another. I didn't realize until I was listing them out here how many rhymes the book covers. I hope he'll grow into this when he can sing along. I like that the people are people and the animals are animals in the illustrations (no animal people to confuse the issue).
Rhymes include: Little Bo Peep; Hickory, Dickory, Dock; Sing a Song of Sixpence; Pussy Cat, Pussy Cat; One, Two, Buckle My Shoe; Mary, Mary Quite Contrary; Three Blind Mice; See-saw, Margery Daw; Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater; Baa, Baa, Black Sheep; Old King Cole; Jack and Jill; Little Miss Muffet; Mary Had a Little Lamb; It's Raining, It's Pouring; Pat-a-cake, I Had a Little Nut Tree; and Rub-a-dub-dub.
Parent's Peeve: Not really a peeve, but there are a couple of these that I have no idea how to sing. A call to the grandparents may be in order.
My Red, White & Blue (Musical Board Book) (Board book), by Sally Williams Chapin. This patriotic board book would make a nice gift around the Fourth of July, or to any budding history buff. It includes a large "push me" button that plays the Star Spangled Banner. The button is easily operated by small fingers. The accompanying text tells the story of the American flag, beginning with its creation by Betsy Ross.
"Betsy Ross got busy with her needle, thread and thimble,/When General Washington asked her to make/Our country's greatest symbol."
Parent's Peeve: The rhymes seem a little forced, but I guess I can live with that in exchange for him getting a mini history lesson.