Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Tickle Tut's Toes & Catch Picasso's Rooster by J. Appel and A. Guglielmo - Books 3 & 4 for Children's Day

Tickle Tut's Toes by Julie Appel and Amy Guglielmo
Copyright unknown - don't see it, that is
Sterling Books - Children's/Board Book
Ages 3 and up; contains small parts
From the "Touch the Art" series

Tickle Tut's Toes is a conundrum. It's a board book from a series of touchy-feely art- and history-based books, much like the classic Pat the Bunny but each book has a specific theme. Because there are decorations - things to touch or move (like the burlap bandages hanging from a mummy, above) the book is not suitable for children who are young enough to stick things in their mouth. So, my first thought was, "Oh, I love this!" and my second thought was, "Who the heck do you read it to?" I had to ponder that for a while.

The pictures in Tickle Tut's Toes are part illustration, part photograph, which makes them bold and colorful -- perfect for drawing in a distractable little one. The text is rhythmic and, frankly, a bit on the stupid side. For example: "Have you ever seen a kid touch a pyramid? Well, you just did." But, here is where the concept came together for me. While you can't leave Tickle Tut's Toes or its companions at a child's level if your child is at chewing-on-books stage, they're perfect for reading to a little one who is unwilling to sit still for long but enjoys hearing the sound of a voice reading rhythmic verse while observing the play of bright colors.

As your child ages, he'll appreciate the "Artifacts" section at the back of the book. In this section, each Egyptian artifact is identified by its name, origin, time period and current location along with a one-paragraph description.

Catch Picasso's Rooster, also by Julie Appel and Amy Guglielmo is much the same, but it contains photos of works of modern art set in colorful backdrops. Same bright colors, same rhythmically moronic verse (sorry, I just do not like the words, rhythmic or not) and things to touch, feel or yank off and munch. But, of course, you won't let your kid tear a feather off the rooster's head and eat it. Instead, you'll read to him/her and let them touch then stick it on a high shelf.

Catch Picasso's Rooster has an "Artifacts" section, as well. This time you'll learn the title and artist of each work of art, when it was created, where it resides and a bit about the artist.

Love, hate, love, hate. I don't think I would go rushing out to buy these particular board books, myself, because I recall the point of board books was to have something my child could hold and chew on without worry. But, I can still recite the words to Raccoon's Hide and Seek, one of our favorites, so I know I didn't just hand board books to my children and walk away. I read them aloud. I rocked and read, read in bed with them . . . and then left them down at child level so they could handle them and (if they must) chew on them. If you're interested, I suggest seeking the books and looking inside before you purchase. Consider whether you or your gift recipient is willing or interested in reading and then moving the book to a safe location.

Next up will be a review of The Handy Answer Book for Kids (and Parents). Tickle Tut's Toes and Catch Picasso's Rooster were books 3 & 4 for Children's Day. My thanks to Sterling Kids for the review copies.


  1. Oh, I have to get these for Noodlebug!!!

    Life by Candlelight

  2. Amy,

    "Noodlebug." LOL I like. :) I should have known these two would pique your interest!!!


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