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The Completed Hickory Dickory Dock


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About the Author

Jim Aylesworth has written many books for young readers, including The Completed Hickory Dickory Dock and Mother Halverson's New Cat. Of The Goodnight Kiss, Booklist has said his "melodic story...with its strings of prepositional phrases and its elusive sense of connectedness will mesmerize kids." Mr. Aylesworth marks his proudest accomplishments as having been a first-grade teacher for nearly twenty-five years. He lives with his family in Hinsdale, Illinois.


PreS-K-- The title may sound more like a children's literature thesis than a nursery rhyme, but the content is pure fun. The book begins with the traditional Mother Goose rhyme. As the hours continue to strike, this cut-up of a mouse nibbles cheese and pie, courts a girl, and plays tricks on the cat, ending a busy day with a book and prayers. Following the structure of the original, rhymes roll off the tongue with such sillies as ``icicle, bicycle, bert'' and ``splashery, dashery, dears.'' Some verses have more image unity than others, but all are entertaining. Large, freewheeling ink and watercolor illustrations express energetic activity. Even the background seems active as walls curve and the grandfather clock bends to be seen from the mousehold. Warm oranges, tans, and yellows are mixed with blues, greens, and violet; and the color washes seem to move as fast as the mice, who romp through full-page illustrations or poke tails and ears out of smaller frames. Most illustrations are from a mouse's-eye view, some with wild-eyed closeups of the pursuing cat. What Mother Goose began, Aylesworth and Christelow have completed in an appealing book that begs to be read aloud. --Jane Saliers, Atlanta-Fulton Public Library

This extended version of the familiar nursery rhyme successfully combines simple counting concepts, the numbers one through 12 and a gentle introduction to telling time. Laced with phonetic harmonies, the additional verses have a nonsensical, bouncing quality that offer a fun-filled challenge for little ones to master. ``Honeybee, bunny bee, boo. / The mouse ran into a shoe. / The clock struck three, / He scratched a flea. / Honeybee, bunny bee, boo.'' The endearingly chubby mouse and his family are humorously portrayed in Christelow's colorful, frantic cartoons. The story's vitality is suitably slowed toward the book's end, as the exhausted mouse drifts off to sleep: ``The clock struck twelve, / Now dream some yourselves.'' Ages 4-7. (Sept.)

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