Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Wee Rhymes: Baby's First Poetry Book

Wee Rhymes: Baby's First Poetry Book

Jane Yolen
Illustrator:  Jane Dyer 
Poetry Picture Book
For infants to age 5
Simon and Schuster, 2013   ISBN: 978-1416948988

Between them author and poet Jane Yolen and illustrator Jane Dyer have nine grandchildren, and they have both spent countless hours playing and spending time with these precious children. Not surprisingly, they believe that “literature begins in the cradle” and that “rhymes are our earliest cultural artifacts.” Mother Goose rhymes and simple pieces of verse that have a singsong element should be a vital part of every little child’s life. In this book such poems are paired with Jane Dyer’s deliciously sweet and lovely artwork to give little children and their grownups a gift that they can share for hours and hours.

   Many of the poems in this book will be familiar, including the first poem, The Rose is Red. Later on Pat-A-Cake, Girls and Boys Come out to Play and This Little Pig appear. These Mother Goose rhymes have been charming little children for generations.

  In addition to these old favorites, there are new poems that Jane Yolen has written, many of which explore everyday moments in a child’s day. There is the poem Oops, Whoops, which tells the story of what happens when a cup full of milk falls to the floor. The child is comforted and told not to “yowl” for Daddy is coming “With a great big towel.” There is also a poem about piggyback rides and one about going to the supermarket to “Ride down every aisle.” In other poems we share a ride in a swing, slip down a slide, and play in a sandbox. In Nap Time we encounter a child who is not sleepy and who wants to go to the park. After all, how can one sleep when “it’s not dark.” The poem comes to a close with the child asking for a blankie, a hankie and a story, but before the story can be told we hear a “Zzzzzzzzzzzzz.”

   This collection of poems is a perfect title to give new parents or grandparents as a gift.