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Read-aloud rhymes that actually sound nice

By asoglin
Monday, November 5th, 2007 at 12:25 pm in Books, Fab Five.

My toddler and I have decidedly different tastes in literature.

Given the choice, she unfailing opts for books that promote themselves as “sparkly,” “touchy-feely” or “lift the flap.”

As someone who makes her living herding words, I prefer stories that showcase the inherent beauty and poetry of the English language.

After much experimentation, we’ve finally come to agree on a set of board books that couple tot-friendly story lines with respectable rhythm, rhyme and alliteration…

For families past the ripping and tearing phase, many of these titles also are sold in non-board editions. And all are available through East Bay libraries.

* “Quack!” by Phyllis Root and Holly Meade (2005, Candlewick). An elegant tale of ducks and ducklings that rolls off the tongue reading after reading.

* “Everywhere Babies” by Susan Meyers and Marla Frazee (2004, Red Wagon Books). So sweet. See if you can get through the last page without choking up.

* “Cowboy Bunnies” by Christine Loomis and Ora Eitan (2004, Putnam Juvenile). These charming rabbits “wake up early” to “ride their ponies hurly burly.”

* “Sheep Out to Eat” by Nancy E. Shaw and Margot Apple (2005, Houghton Mifflin). A hilarious testament to the power of alliteration — and the short sentence.

* “Big Red Barn” by Margaret Wise Brown and Felicia Bond (1994, HarperFestival). Bedtime just isn’t complete until “the sun went down in the great green field…”

What stories do you love reading aloud? Share them by clicking “comments.”

Sara Steffens

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