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The Complete Book of Rhymes, Songs, Poems, Fingerplays, and Chants (with CDs)

By Jackie Silberg and Pam Schiller
Gryphon House, Inc.

PO Box 207
Beltsville, MD 20704-0207

Complete? I should say so! There are songs, rhymes, and fingerplays that I enjoyed as a child and more that I have learned just by reading this book! The book comes with two fabulous CDs that contain all of the 700 selections. This is the ultimate resource for a parent. There are theme connections and each selection is marked to show what concepts it teaches.

The Complete Book of Rhymes, Songs, Poems, Fingerplays, and Chants is for all ages: it can be used as a preschool program, as a culture supplement (since there are songs from other countries and in different languages), as a teaching tool for various subjects, or best of all--for fun!

In the beginning of the book, there is a section on how to use the book. The tips offered there include:
  • Use pictures to reinforce the words. For instance, the nursery rhyme "Little Boy Blue" talks about sheep and cows. Find pictures of these and hold them up while you say the words.
  • If you are teaching a song, speak the words in the correct rhythm before you add the melody.
The book is organized in alphabetical order but has a valuable index that organizes the selections by theme. This is perfect for implementing in any learning situation. The "Theme Connections" for each selection highlight the teaching concepts; for example, "Home on the Range" has antelope, colors, cowboys, cowgirls, deer, nature, and the sun, moon and stars listed as the theme connections.

The book lies flat for ease of use. The pages are easy to read and are sprinkled with illustrations within the book's generous 500+ pages. Another wonderful feature is the variations on favorite songs, such as "Head and Shoulders," the "ABC song," and more. As a parent who has purchased many toddler tunes products over the years, I highly recommend The Complete Book of Rhymes, Songs, Poems, Fingerplays, and Chants as a valuable addition for every child, young and old.

Product review by Jessica DeFore, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC, September 2007

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