________________ CM . . . . Volume XIX Number 28. . . .March 22, 2013


The Wheels on the Bus; and The Boat on the Waves. (Tadpoles: Nursery Rhymes).

Wes Magee, reteller. Illustrated by Richard Morgan.
St. Catharines, ON: Crabtree, 2013.
24 pp., pbk. & hc., $7.95 (pbk.), $18.36 (RLB.).
ISBN 978-0-7787-1152-0 (pbk.), ISBN 978-0-7787-1148-3 (RLB).

Subject Heading:
Nursery rhymes, English.

Preschool-Kindergarten / Ages 2-5.

Review by Teresa Iaizzo.

***½ /4



The wheels on the bus go round and round… (From The Wheels on the Bus.) The boat on the waves goes up and down… (From The Boat on the Waves.)


The Wheels on the Bus; and The Boat on the Waves is a two-in-one rhyme book that is part of the “Tadpoles Nursery Rhymes” series by Crabtree. In it, Wes Magee retells the famous Wheels on the Bus nursery rhyme by substituting a boat on the waves for the wheels on the bus.

internal art     Ultimately, I found this book to be exceptional as it allows children to experiment and have fun with standard nursery rhymes. By turning such rhymes on their head, children are able to explore how rhymes work and can subsequently create their own. Such ingenuity makes reading this book fun for children while imbuing the reading experience, itself, with a heightened sense of imagination. For example, at the end of each nursery rhyme, the rhyme is reproduced in its entirety, and children are asked to identify the repeated words. By engaging children in this manner and asking them to point out the repetitive nature of rhymes, the reteller/author is actually increasing children’s ability to understand verse and subsequently gives them the opportunity to create their own.

      Moreover, the illustrations are extraordinary as they also add an instructive component to the rhymes being told. Not only are they colourful and vibrant, but they also allow children to identify with key elements of the rhymes. For example, the bottom right corner of every page has a little child demonstrating the motions of the text (i.e. turning his hands round-and-round, and-up-and down). As a result, children can become familiar with the motions of the nursery rhymes and, thus, can play along during story time.

      Lastly, the book ends with tips for adults on how to promote reading with their children. The tips, themselves, although conventional, do offer parents helpful advice on how to enjoy reading with their children and how to enhance their overall reading experience. The Wheels on the Bus; and The Boat on the Waves comes highly recommended for toddlers and their parents who are seeking new ways to be creative with their nursery rhymes.

Highly Recommended.

Teresa Iaizzo is a page with the Toronto Public Library in Toronto, ON.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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