“Quirky illustrations, near rhymes, and an unusual premise make this compilation of nursery rhymes mediocre.”
Spirited children Bonnie and Ben go on what appears to be a familiar and fun outing with their friend Skinny Doug—a rhyming walk! The children proudly recite memorized rhymes triggered by the changing scenery on their walk. Their path takes them to a hill, eliciting the first nursery rhyme in their journey: “Jack and Jill.” After a variety of other nursery rhymes, like “Little Bo Peep” (with her randomly colorful sheep), comes “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” upon the sight of the brightly lit night sky. With each rhyme Bonnie and Ben recite, their words bring characters to life, joining them on their stroll. Horacek’s simple watercolor and ink illustrations depict stick figure-like characters that provide a quirky and nostalgic touch to the story yet somewhat belittle the classic rhymes they’re paired with. The unusual premise of the story—the children going out for a day of walking and rhyming with an adult friend—ends on a lovely and clever note tying nursery rhymes to bedtime when “Bonnie and Ben said . . . nothing at all” after a day with so many things to say. With average rhymes like “hurrah” and “are,” (which works with Fox’s Australian accent but diminishes the book for others), this nursery collection won’t be pulled off the shelf as much as others.
Come along as a pair of rhyme-loving siblings take a walk and are inspired to recite their favorite nursery rhymes to the world around them in this sweet and funny read-aloud.
Bonnie and Ben are two rambunctious siblings who love to rhyme. One day, on a walk with their friend Skinny Doug, they recite beloved nursery rhymes for each new thing they encounter. When they reach a hill, they recite “Jack and Jill.” When they see a sheep, they recount the story of “Little Bo Peep.” The nursery rhyme characters join them on their lively walk until, with a last “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star,” the pair arrive home and snuggle into bed.
Bonnie and Ben shared some fun nursery rhymes in this story. Do you have a favorite nursery rhyme in this book? Do you have a favorite that wasn’t included in this story?
Taking rhyming walks with their friend Skinny Doug is something Bonnie and Ben both looked forward to. What activities do you look forward to, and who do you do those activities with?
As a popular cartoonist and writer, Judy Horacek’s cartoons have been pinned to doors and walls all over the world. She is the author of the bestselling books Lost in Space and Where is the Green Sheep? She is also the illustrator of Bonnie and Ben Rhyme Again by Mem Fox. Judy resides in Toorak, Australia.
For Sarah Hatton
For Ben and Jack
“Fox and Horacek previously teamed up for the effervescent Where is the Green Sheep (2004) and do so again to create a delightful narrative anchored by a repeated rhymed refrain . . . The colorfully stylized cartoon artwork, familiar from the duo’s previous work, gives this jaunty, rambunctious outing extra flair as the nursery characters, painted in an array of skin hues, join in to trail Bonnie, Ben, and Skinny Doug (all white-presenting).”
“Lighthearted fun for nursery rhyme–themed storytimes and one-on-one sharing.”