A traditional nursery rhyme in board-book format.
In this version, the musical notation is included on the back cover but without fingerplay directions. No matter; toddlers will quickly match actions to the words. The challenge will be settling them down for the next story after the satisfying “Five, four, three, two, one… / BLAST OFF!” Kubler’s multiracial cast of astronauts includes a black child who uses a wheelchair and two in glasses. The children’s costumes and their rocket ships appear homemade. Though the children are busy, Kubler’s illustrations are not. Using a palette reminiscent of slightly faded construction paper, she provides just enough detail to tell the story. Three more rhymes published simultaneously follow the same format. Round and Round the Garden and Sleeping Bunnies are not so well known in the United States, but a fresh version of Wheels on the Bus is always welcome. All use the traditional wording. In Garden, both the child in the bear costume and the friend who tickles wear glasses; a bespectacled white child and a black child who both wear bunny pajamas play the key roles in Bunnies. Clever caregivers will let children take turns acting out the different roles.
Yes, you can find fingerplays and songs online. But this simple board book and its companions are a more age-appropriate and satisfying way to introduce toddlers to sometimes-neglected storytime traditions. (Board book. 1-4)