Thursday, March 15, 2012

Book #75: Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb by Al Perkins, Illustrated by Eric Gurney

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This book is full of fingers, hands, drums, and monkeys. First, just a few monkeys playing drums, then crowds of monkeys, and then millions of monkeys in a riotous drumming celebration! There are big monkeys, small monkeys, monkeys with banjos, and monkeys with fiddles.

Much like Go, Dog, Go!, this beginner reader is more concerned with repetition of words than it is with plot. Although it’s meant to be a book for early readers to read on their own, it’s fun to read to younger kids as well. Kids will love the repeated chorus, “Dum ditty / Dum ditty / Dum dum dum.” If you’re reading it with babies or toddlers, drum the Dum Ditty’s on their tummy, and point to or shake their thumbs, fingers, hands, and feet when mentioned in the text.

In addition to rollicking rhyming text, the monkeys featured in the illustrations express the sheer joy of playing the drums with friends. The monkeys pop out against squares and rectangles of color. These aren’t monkeys confined to cages in the zoo; these monkeys frolic, scamper, and be-bop through their day!

This book is also a great addition to a body parts storytime, as it talks about the various things you can do with your fingers and hands. After reading the story, ask the kids to name some of the things that the monkeys do with their hands in the book. Refer back to the pictures as the kids shout out their answers. Then ask them to give you more ideas of things you can do with your hands, such as open a door, cook and eat food, tie shoe laces, etc.

If you’re hooked on drumming monkeys, check out my post on Soon, Baboon, Soon.


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