Monday, February 16, 2009

Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb

Perkins, Al. 1969. Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb. Illustrated by Eric Gurney. Random House.

There is only one book--from my childhood--that stands a chance of topping Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb as my favorite, favorite, favorite picture book*. I just love Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb. I do. Are you familiar with this one? It's a "Bright and Early Book for Beginning Readers." Yes, it sports the Cat in the Hat in the top corner on the cover.

What do I love about Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb? What don't I love! The monkeys. The drums. The refrains. The rhythm of it all. I love both the illustrations and the text. Both are oh-so-magical for me. It begins off simply with one little monkey,


One thumb
One thumb
Drumming on a drum.

One hand
Two hands
Drumming on a drum.

Dum ditty
Dum ditty
Dum dum dum.

But one little monkey isn't quite enough, soon these monkeys start getting together--like Jack and Jake--and eventually there are millions of monkeys....

Hand in hand
More monkeys come.
Many more fingers.
Many more thumbs.
Many more monkeys.
Many more drums.

Millions of fingers!
Millions of thumbs!
Millions of monkeys
Drumming on drums!
The text lends itself to easy memorization--it is fun, it is catchy, it is practically perfect in every way.

*Note, I said my childhood. I've read plenty of picture books as an adult. I can't really compare the experiences. There are two different kinds of love.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Julie P. said...

Loved this book! I even bought an old copy for my kids.

Anonymous said...

I love this so much. I still read the copy I have at my grandmother's house!

Lori Calabrese said...

Definitely one of the greats! I loved it as a kid and still love reading it to my boys!

Anonymous said...

This book doesn't look familiar at all. But it looks like a lot of fun.

Laura H said...

Funny you posted this because I was organizing my kids' books today and found this one and thought "Now where did this book come from?" I'll be sure to read it to them soon.

Jill said...

Oh, I love this one! I remember poring over the illustrations of the millions of monkeys when I was little - I thought it was so impressive. And I have had just as much fun reading it to my own kids. Hooray for book memories! :-)