Honey For You, Honey For Me

Publisher: Walker Books

In his brief introduction to this gorgeous book of nursery rhymes and playground songs, Michael Rosen explains that he is fascinated with the way that old rhymes are kept alive by word of mouth.

We all probably recognise the type of rhyme in this book from the playground ourselves, but many of them will not be familiar: some are, Rosen says, 'neglected gems' he has unearthed from old books of nursery rhymes, collected in his lifetime.

Sometimes they're just a couple of lines, like, 'Ippy dippy dation/My operation/How many buses/At the station?' And sometimes they're longer, like the counting song with many verses that begins, 'One, two, three/Mother finds a flea/Puts it in a teapot/And makes a cup of tea.'

All of them are colourfully illustrated in full page technicolour by Chris Riddell, from the sad rabbit with skipping rope ('Here am I/Little Jumping Joan/When nobody's with me/I'm all alone') to the children concentrating on pat-a-cake to the glorious owl peeking out from his tree with the rhyme: 'There was an owl lived in an oak/Wisky, wasky, weedle/And all the words he ever spoke were/Fiddle, faddle, feedle.'

Parents of little ones and those working in early years settings will love this book full of quick, repeating chants and songs, often funny, which can help toddlers and pre-schoolers develop their language skills, practise sounds and have fun following along.

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