This week’s selection is not one that I have ever read aloud for story time but there aren’t enough fingers in my whole family to count the number of times that I’ve shared this one with my two-year-old son. I actually checked it out on the recommendation of a patron. This person is also amidst the challenge of raising a two-year-old and shared the secret of this book’s power with me. Now I am passing it along to you:
Toddlers LOVE this book. Period.
(You can tell I’m being serious because, as you can plainly see, there are three periods in that statement.)
I don’t know what the magic is behind it, but I can promise you it’s there. As soon as you get through the first two pages, the previous squalling that your littl’un was holding your ears prisoner with ceases. Then the rhythm of the book (be bop, fisk fisk, lollipop, boomba boomba, bus stop, zznn zznn) carries them through to the end, where they will most likely ask you to start over.
Raschka was really shooting for the sound and feel of the old bebop classics (it mentions in the back of the book that he was inspired by “Night in Tunisia”) so there is no sense whatsoever to the words he uses here; all of them were selected because of their rhythmic appeal. And appeal they do. After your first three or four readings, you can most likely count on your child roaming around the house, bopping their head, and calling out catch phrases from the book. You can even do a little call and repeat with them if you like: after reading, all I have to do with my son is say the word “Never” and he immediately follows up with “Leave your cat alone!”
If I ever attempt this one for a live story time, I’ll let you know the results (though I can tell you I haven’t quite figured out how to work the senselessness of these words into an effective group sharing- consider this personal challenge accepted though). For now, just take my word that this book is a pleasure to read aloud and an even greater pleasure for your toddling wonder (terror?) to hear.