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Mem Fox is the acclaimed author of many popular children's books including Possum Magic, which is a bestselling children's book in Australia, with more than one million copies sold. In addition to writing children's books, she is a senior lecturer in education. Mem lives in South Australia with her husband. Find Mem online at www.memfox.com and on twitter as @MemFox1.Helen Oxenbury is among the most popular and critically acclaimed illustrators of her time. Her numerous books for children include Farmer Duck by Martin Waddell, We're Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen, as well as her classic board books for babies. She won the Kate Greenaway Medal for Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Her most recent picture books include the critically acclaimed There's Going to Be a Baby, the first book-publishing collaboration between her and her husband John Burningham, and Charley's First Night and When Charley Met Granpa by Amy Hest. Helen lives in London.
PreS-"There was one little baby/who was born far away./And another who was born/on the very next day./And both of these babies,/as everyone knows,/had ten little fingers/and ten little toes." So opens this nearly perfect picture book. Fox's simple text lists a variety of pairs of babies, all with the refrain listing the requisite number of digits, and finally ending with the narrator's baby, who is "truly divine" and has fingers, toes, "and three little kisses/on the tip of its nose." Oxenbury's signature multicultural babies people the pages, gathering together and increasing by twos as each pair is introduced. They are distinctive in dress and personality and appear on primarily white backgrounds. The single misstep appears in the picture of the baby who was "born on the ice." The child, who looks to be from Northern Asia or perhaps an Inuit, stands next to a penguin. However, this minor jarring placement does not detract enough from the otherwise ideal marriage of text and artwork to prevent the book from being a first purchase. Whether shared one-on-one or in storytimes, where the large trim size and big, clear images will carry perfectly, this selection is sure to be a hit.-Amy Lilien-Harper, The Ferguson Library, Stamford, CT Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
Put two titans of kids' books together for the first time, and what do you get (besides the urge to shout, "What took you so long?")? The answer: an instant classic. Fox's (Time for Bed) text works off the simplest premise: babies around the world, even those who seem like polar opposites, have the same 20 digits in common. But there's real magic at work here. Given their perfect cadences, the rhymes feel as if they always existed in our collective consciousness and were simply waiting to be written down: "There was one little baby who was born far away./ And another who was born on the very next day./ And both of these babies, as everyone knows/ had ten little fingers and ten little toes." Oxenbury (We're Going on a Bear Hunt) once again makes multiculturalism feel utterly natural and chummy. As her global brood of toddlers grows--she introduces two cast members with every new stanza--readers can savor each addition both as beguiling individualist and giggly, bouncy co-conspirator. Ages 3-5. (Oct.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
Nobody draws babies like Helen Oxenbury does. She is one of the most popular and acclaimed illustrators in the world and Mem Fox of course, is an Australian icon. The pairing of these two awesome talents is inspired. The reader is taken on a trip around the world, to meet babies in many different countries. What transpires is a procession of laughing, expressive, delightful babies. And they all have, as you would expect, ten little fingers and ten little toes. But it is the final baby that makes the book so special and relevant to the toddler sitting on a lap sharing the book and the related actions. Mem Fox's text is simple, repetitious and rhyming, gentle and loving without being twee or schmaltzy. Helen Oxenbury's illustrations are also simple, uncluttered and focussed. Her touch is so gentle and understated, but she is able to achieve a definite character and nationality for every baby. Her babies are varied, cute and adorable, and the love in the final pictures is palpable. This is a perfect read-aloud picture book for early childhood, a celebration of babies, full of warmth and appeal. It was a joy to read and a pleasure to hold. Margaret Hamilton is a former children's publisher. She now provides freelance publishing services and reviews
Delightfully exuberant and endearingly sentimental, this is a simple, gloriouscelebration of the differences and similarities between babies the world over. * Observer * An instant classic ... there's real magic at work here. * Publisher's Weekly *