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Paws, Claws, Hands, and Feet Review by Susan K. Marlow

By Kimberly Hutmacher; illustrated by Sherry Rogers
Sylvan Dell Publishing
976 Houston Northcutt Blvd. Suite #3
Mount Pleasant, SC 29464

Two children, a boy and a girl, jump, crawl, leap, and sneak through this delightful, full-color, 32-page picture book for ages three to seven. The reader is invited to join the children on their frolicking dream adventure--from bedtime to sunrise--with catchy, fast-moving rhyming words like "Digging, dashing, acorn stashing . . ." and "Roaming, romping, prairie stomping. . . ." The alliteration encourages the turning of pages to see which animal the children will meet next.

Although there are few words per page in this 8.5 by 10-inch library-bound hardback, the illustrator incorporates those words in pleasing two-page spreads for young eyes: monkeys "prowling and peeking" into muffin boxes, spiders "spinning and swooping," and (my favorite) a bald eagle "rounding, resting, pillow nesting" and bringing her young ones a fish. What a dream for these two young adventurers!

The last four pages of Paws, Claws, Hands, and Feet include an educational section titled "For Creative Minds." You can download these same pages from the publisher's website:

Games include a paws, claws, hands, and feet matching game as well as questions like "Do all animals have feet?" and "Why do some animals have wings instead of arms and hands?" It's a mini unit study for preschoolers.

My two-year-old grandson loved the pictures and the rhythm of the words, while my six-year-old granddaughter was excited to do the activities at the back of the book. Paws, Claws, Hands, and Feet is an enjoyable read for little ones, and it is fun to look at too.

Product review by Susan K. Marlow, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, April 2009