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Nursery Rhyme Books

Five Little Monkeys
by Zita Newcome
(Walker Books)
This collection of over 50 action and counting rhymes includes many of the ones children learn at nursery and playschool. The illustrations feature a multi-cultural mix of children playing happily together and, where appropriate, there are small boxes on the side of the page showing the actions. Fun to look at with children and also a useful resource for nursery teachers and parents.
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Cockadoodle Moo
compiled by John Foster
(Oxford University Press)
Although this book doesn't contain any traditional rhymes, it deserves a place in this section because all the poems in it are specially chosen for very young children. Their strong rhythms and playful use of words make them a delight to read aloud and the colourful illustrations help to hold children' attention while they listen.
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Mother Goose Remembers
Illustrated by Clare Beaton
(Barefoot Books)
Over forty nursery rhymes, some well known, others less so have been stitched - rather the titles have - into a scene which includes a feather from Mother Goose's downy plumage. A lovely book to share with the very young and with apprentice readers. It could well be a source of inspiration for older children's own sewn fabric illustrations.
(reviewed by Jill Bennett)
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Playtime Rhymes for the Very Young
Illustrated by Pruscilla Lamont
(Dorling Kindersley)
This well-chosen selection  includes old favourites like Incey Wincey Spider as well as more modern rhymes.  All 22 of them have actions which are illustrated with small inset photos  featuring  very happy babies and children, young mums and an occasional dad.  The illustrations of the rhymes themselves contain delightful touches of humour and the whole book would make a welcome addition to any baby's bookshelf. 
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Here Comes Mother Goose
edited by Iona Opie, illustrated by Rosemary Wells
(Walker Books)
Iona Opie probably knows more about nursery rhymes than anyone else in the country, so she is in an ideal position to edit a book like this. The result is a good selection of 56 rhymes which includes many lesser known ones as well as the traditional favourites. The bright, uncluttered illustrations give the book a modern feel and are sure to attract young children's attention.
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The Oxford Book of Nursery Rhymes 
Illustrated by Faith Jaques. Chosen by Zena Sutherland
(Orchard Books)
With 76 rhymes in all, this is the most extensive of the collections reviewed here. It is also the most traditional in appearance as its excellent illustrations are set in the late 18th century and full of detail. A beautiful book which awakens memories of childhoods past and which has a timeless quality which will not date. 
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