I love Mem Fox’s Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes (illus: Helen Oxenbury). It is sweet, engaging, the rhyme is tight (it is Mem Fox after all…) and it’s one of those that I, as an adult, love reading to my son because it somehow involves me. My son, however, has the patience of a walnut with some books and is obsessed with others.
Again and again, he giggles and coos as Spot (written and illus by Eric Hill) looks for his ball, talks to the ducks, says something or other to a hippo and is generally always stuck looking in the closet for one thing or another.
I, on the other hand, adore the rhythm of Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes. It is so simple and yet so sweet and I’m sure was a challenge to write. I hope one day to write my own little Ten Little Fingers. My favourite page is the one with the little baby hands and feet. All chubby and innocent. That double page beauty does get my son’s attention. But, ultimately, my son is steadfastly averse to letting me get through it.
So, what is a mummy to do? I can definitely see benefits of the Spot books. They have a lot of repetitive words, the bright, solid and simple colours are attractive. They are enjoyable to read every now and then because of how much my little man enjoys them.
But, sometimes, I want to kick the darn duck… I realise I am referring to a book about a talking dog here, but he truly does come across an inordinate amount of ducks.
I hope one day my son will let me waggle his little fingers and toes as I read him the melodious Fox ode to babies everywhere. In the meantime, it looks like it’s Helen the Hippo and that crafty, ubiquitous duck for me.
You can get Ten Little Fingers here: http://www.boomerangbooks.com.au/Ten-Little-Fingers-and-Ten-Little-Toes/Mem-Fox/book_9780143503583.htm?gclid=CPyI9dbkpL0CFULvpAodYEwABQ
Spot books available here: http://www.amazon.com/Eric-Hill/e/B000AQ202K