cover image Hello Toes! Hello Feet!

Hello Toes! Hello Feet!

Ann Whitford Paul, Lynn McDonald. DK Publishing (Dorling Kindersley), $15.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-7894-2481-5

Paul's (The Seasons Sewn: A Year in Patchwork) cheerful and bouncy poem narrates the activities of a spunky heroine who greets the day by announcing, ""Good morning, toes,/ Good morning, feet,/ tangled up between my sheets./ Be the first to touch the floor,/ hop me to the closet door."" Occasionally, the conceit of having the girl directly address her feet throughout the day seems strained (""Now march me over to the trees..../ I'll slip off your socks and shoes""), and the changing line length of the stanzas sometimes throws off the poem's rhyme scan (""Go outside,/ try to leap/ across the walk,/ skip side to side,/ lead the way/ quick down/ the slide""). Nonetheless, Westcott's (Never Take a Pig to Lunch) bright, shiny faces and effervescent illustrations bubble with verve. Readers will delight in the expressive terrier, reminiscent of Margaret Bloy Graham's Harry the Dirty Dog, and a blue stuffed rabbit who accompany the girl on her escapades. Westcott's watercolors brim with jaunty details: feet clomp, dance, skip and jump; when the girl's feet kick the table, the ""Happy O's"" in her cereal bowl fly into the waiting mouths of her younger brother and dog; and her closet is neatly lined with treasures--alligator socks, sandals with Carmen Miranda fruit and even Judy Garland's ruby-red shoes. Whether spotlighting cowgirl boots or muddy bare toes, this appealing toddler book is full of neat feet. Ages 2-7. (Mar.)