A board-book version of the familiar spiritual, revamped with animal characters in skeleton costumes.
A group of anthropomorphic, bipedal animals who appear to be wearing black, one-piece bodysuits with human skeletons printed on them dance from one spread to the next. The full-bleed cartoon art is dark and busy—especially for a board book—and there’s little variation from one spread to the next to sustain visual interest. No matter how catchy the implied tune may be to those who are familiar with it, the repetitive text is less than inspired, too. Following an opening spread in which diverse animals dance to the chorus, elephants come to the foreground to dance to the lyric reading “The TOE bone’s connected to the FOOT bone,” then ankle, then shin, culminating in the line, “Now shake dem ELEPHANT bones!” The next spread switches back to the chorus with the whole group dancing together (“Now shake dem ANIMAL bones!”). Then the pattern repeats with puppy dogs, kitty cats, and billy goats (each subgroup mysteriously joined by unmentioned dinosaurs) moving in shifts to the foreground as the verses move up the body to name different bones.
Dry. Dim. Don’t bother. (Board book. 0-2)