Over in the Jungle: A Rainforest Rhyme, written by Marianne Berkes, illustrated by Jeanette Canyon, Dawn Publication, 2005 (board book 2008). Toddler to Preschool to Early Elementary
As mentioned in a previous post, I am a sucker for signed books, so when I saw one of Marianne Berkes' books in a pamphlet of 100 Picture Books for Preschoolers, I just knew I could renew our acquaintance and have her sign a book or three for my son. Actually, Marianne is very gracious and would sign a book for anyone who asks.
Over in the Jungle: A Rainforest Rhyme was the book listed in the pamphlet, so I'll review it first. This book is deceptively simple. Marianne Berkes takes a simple tune (Over in the Meadow) and replaces the lyrics with counting verses about rainforest animals. Sounds pretty easy in theory, but not so much in practice. Anyway, it works very well in this book.
Jeanette Canyon uses polymer clay to create brilliant, dimensional illustrations. I'm not sure I would like that style of illustration in too many books, but with the rainforest book, it is a perfect marriage.
When I was reading this book for the first time to my two-year-old son, he walked over and pointed to the 4 on the leaf and said "four". I thought he was a genius. Then he pointed at the 5 and said "four" and the six. Oh well. So much for great expectations. :)