Marc Brown’s Playtime Rhymes: A Treasury for Families to Learn and Play Together

Marc Brown. Little, Brown, $18 (48p) ISBN 978-0-316-20735-5
Brown shares 20 favorite “finger rhymes,” using tiny iconlike boxes to demonstrate the hand gestures and bodily movements that accompany each line of verse. For “The Wheels on the Bus,” a cartoon boy mimics the movement of the wheels by spinning his hands round and round (arrows indicate movement); in the main illustration, a trio of passengers board a bus piloted by a cheerful redheaded woman in sunglasses. Other songs include “I’m a Little Teapot” (which features an anthropomorphic floral teapot and five teacups dancing around like ballerinas), “The Itsy Bitsy Spider,” and “Five Little Pigs.” Brown’s gouache and colored pencil artwork—which involves painting, scraping, and repainting gessoed wood panels—gives the book a vintage, weathered effect as it loosely guides readers through the seasons of the year and offers many hands-on opportunities for adult-child play. Ages 3–6. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/19/2013
Release date: 10/01/2013
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