Sing the familiar song while baby safely turns the thick pages of this extra-heavy board book.
Whimsical and decorative nursery-style illustrations of a horse, a lion, a frog, a zebra, a mouse, and a hippo rowing through a fanciful landscape give toddlers much to point at as they sing along. The song starts on the front cover. Inside there is plenty of room for “merrily” to be repeated four times. On the back cover a QR code to access a musical download and the copyright statement crowds “life is but a dream,” leaving no place for libraries to affix labels necessary for shelving and checkout. A bright-red plastic cylinder serves as both hinge and handle, allowing the pages to flip around so toddlers can start wherever the book happens to fall open; it's fairly durable and can be snapped back together in the event it comes apart after being dropped. Each press-board page is wrapped in coated paper with the verso image glued on top; determined little fingers may be able to peel it off, however. Companion title The Wheels on the Bus uses the same format with an elephant driving a crocodile, a pig, and a cow “all through the town.” Only the title verse is included; readers will need to download additional stanzas.
An unusual format makes for a nonlinear experience well-suited to the familiar round. (Board book. 1-3)