CM . . .
. Volume XIX Number 28. . . .March 22, 2013
Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star; and Spaceship, Spaceship, Zooming High. (Tadpoles: Nursery Rhymes).
Wes Magee, reteller. Illustrated by Mike Byrne.
St. Catharines, ON: Crabtree, 2013.
24 pp., pbk. & hc., $7.95 (pbk.), $18.36 (RLB.).
ISBN 978-0-7787-1150-6 (pbk.), ISBN 978-0-7787-1132-2 (RLB).
Nursery rhymes, English.
Preschool-grade 1 / Ages 2-6.
Review by Claire Perrin.
This hardcover version of a familiar nursery rhyme is one of several being released by Crabtree as part of its “Nursery Rhymes” series. While everyone knows Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, the second rhyme in the book is an original created by author Wes Magee. It follows the same rhyme and pattern as Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, but it is about a spaceship zooming through the skies.
far across the starry sky.
Past the Moon and over Mars,
racing past the shooting stars.
Each of the poems is nicely arranged on the pages of the book, with just two lines of text per page in a large font. Following the two line pages, the entire rhyme is written on the final page of each section, with the question: “Can you find the rhyming words?” After the second rhyme, there is a puzzle: “How many spaceships can you find?” An interesting addition to the book are the two pages featuring quotes and biographical information about the author and illustrator.
Each page is well-illustrated by Byrne in an age appropriate way that supports the meaning of the poem. He includes details from the rhyme as well as other interesting things that can be found in space (planets, stars, asteroids, galaxies, spaceships). Many of the illustrations are done on a black background, an approach which is quite unusual but very effective. Four different planets are shown, giving children a chance to learn about them and recognize them by their distinctive colours, size or rings. It is unfortunate that the other planets could not have been incorporated into the illustrations to give children an opportunity to learn more about the solar system.
An interesting feature of this book is that actions to accompany the rhyme are shown in the bottom corner of each page. Finally, in very small font on the last page, are some suggestions for the adults who will be reading this book with children.
Nursery rhymes, songs and poetry are such an important part of early language learning, but usually they are found in a collection of rhymes with just one illustration per poem. Having a whole book for one nursery rhyme, plus the original “bonus” rhyme by Magee, is a wonderful format for presenting well-known rhymes.
Claire Perrin is an elementary teacher in Toronto, ON.
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