Rhyming text in large print accompanies colorful photographs of children of different ethnic backgrounds, all engaged in the enjoyment of life.
The youngest children will enjoy looking at the photographs and identifying with such phrases as “Show me happy, / show me helping, // show me up, / show me down.” (The “up” and “down” photos capture children playing on playground equipment.) The pleasantries of a largely suburban lifestyle involve, in addition to playground fun, a plastic “lawnmower” and wagon, Lego construction, reading books, counting with fingers, and interacting lovingly with adults, pets and other children. Care was obviously taken to include a diversity of ages, genders and skin colors in the models. The text’s simple rhythms will allow little ones to “read along” with the book after the first few run-throughs. A number of the activities encourage children to immediately mimic what they see in the illustrations, as in the finger-counting, the peekaboo pages and the “Show me little, / show me BIG” photographs. A sweetness in the images and the text elevates the book from sheer simplicity to usefulness in providing behavioral role models. The use of near-rhymes is a welcome relief from texts that sacrifice meaning for exact rhyme. There is nothing wrong with coupling “down” with “found” and “ten” with “friends.”
A nice addition to the bookshelves of day care centers, preschools and families with young children. (Picture book. 1-4)