Siblings Bonnie and Ben show off the numerous nursery rhymes they know while they walk with friend and mentor Skinny Doug.
When they reach a familiar hill, they launch into “Jack and Jill.” The sight of a couple of sheep ahead prompts a recital of “Little Bo Peep.” A plum tree they happen upon brings on “Little Jack Horner.” And a hairy black spider hanging from a lamppost elicits “Little Miss Muffet.” After the stars come out on their return home, “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” precedes their going to bed, all rhymed out. Fox and Horacek previously teamed up for the effervescent Where is the Green Sheep (2004) and do so again to create a delightful narrative anchored by a repeated rhymed refrain. Between each traditional verse Skinny Doug exclaims: “I love it, I love it! / Well done, and hurrah! / Can you tell me another? / How clever you are!” (This will read as assonance in most parts of the U.S. but is likely a perfect rhyme in Fox’s native Australia.) The colorfully stylized cartoon artwork, familiar from the duo’s previous work, gives this jaunty, rambunctious outing extra flair as the nursery characters, painted in an array of skin hues, join in to trail Bonnie, Ben, and Skinny Doug (all white-presenting).
Fox’s inimitable rhyming text and Horacek’s buoyant illustrations offer youngsters another winning choice. (Picture book. 3-5)