KINDERGARTEN KIDS

RIDDLES, REBUSES, WIGGLES, GIGGLES, AND MORE!

Calmenson, herself a former kindergarten teacher, explores that world in this collection of original poetry. The 18 short rhyming poems address common features of the classroom such as show-and-tell, learning the alphabet and celebrating holidays, and several of the poems could be used as part of special days such as the 100th day of school. Some are written as riddles or with a missing final word to be filled in or with related movement or activity suggestions, and one of the last, a riff on the old “See You Later, Alligator” pattern, might just become a new playground classic with 19 ways to say good-bye (“time to float, billy goat”). Sweet fills her vibrant illustrations with bright citrus colors and bouncy children of varied ethnicities who help bring the rhymes to life. (Picture book/poetry. 4-6)

Pub Date: July 1, 2005

ISBN: 0-06-000713-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2005

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This Old MacDonald’s not much fun. E-I-E-I-O.

OLD MACDONALD HAD A BABY

Snape and Steele give readers a modern twist.

Old MacDonald is a going-gray-around-the-temples beige-skinned man with a black husband and a beige-skinned baby. When his husband drives off in the morning, MacDonald is left in charge of the child with help from his pets—and eventually the entire barnyard, as with each stanza a new animal joins the action. Steele’s bright, cartoon-style illustrations sell the zaniness of a new dad’s day. They elevate the story as bipedal animals assist the harried dad with the increasing chaos, but they can’t save it. Snape’s word choice often fights the tempo of the song, and the few moments of alliteration may create tongue-twisters during read-alouds: “And for that baby he sang a song, / E-I-E-I-O. / With a boom-boom here, / And a crash-bang there, // Here’s a clap, there’s a whack, / Everywhere’s a raucous ruckus!” The constantly changing language—so different from the song’s patterning—makes it impossible for a child or a group of children to sing along. The joy of “Old MacDonald” is the call-and-response opportunity offered with each additional animal. What does a goat say again? In this version, adults may chuckle at the memory of the frantic early years, but children will feel frustrated that they have limited moments to join in the fun. It sinks some really good illustrations.

This Old MacDonald’s not much fun. E-I-E-I-O. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 19, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-250-30281-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: Aug. 26, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2019

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WHO BOP?

PLB 0-06-027918-4 In a tongue-tangling word-romp, London (Hip Cat, 1993, etc.) invites children to “jump right in, to swirl and spin” with the animal-attendees of his sock hop. This swinging party features cool cats, whirling rabbits, frolicking dogs, cavorting mice, and springing frogs, all grooving in half-tugged socks. London combines the deeply satisfying sounds of drums and keyboards with the upbeat be-bop of the sax to create a book that, when read out loud (at story hours or anytime), rivals the cadence of rhythm and blues. Working in confident, vivid colors, Cole sets out a playful visual introduction to musical instruments; the scenes are fairly bursting with joyful dancers who are so engaging that joining the hip-hop hoppin’ may be the only way to go. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Feb. 29, 2000

ISBN: 0-06-027917-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 1999

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