School Library Journal - 10/01/2005 K-Gr 5-Sierra has selected some of the funniest and most memorable schoolyard rhymes available in this appealing collection, including such old favorites as "Miss Mary Mack, Mack, Mack," "Lady with the Alligator Purse," and "Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire." Kids will also howl over other offerings that may be new to this generation: "Ladies and jellybeans, hoboes and tramps,/Cross-eyed mosquitoes and bow-legged ants" and "Tarzan, Tarzan, through the air,/Tarzan lost his underwear." The rhythms and nonsense rhymes are irresistible, compelling memorization and participation in the fun. Tried-and- true wordplays will tickle young readers, such as the one that begins "Splickety-splat,/I saw a dead rat,/and I 1 it./Say you 2 it" and eventually leads to the delightfully disgusting conclusion, "I 8 it." Sweet's animated watercolor-and-collage illustrations fill the pages with expressive faces, thin lines of verse shaped into jump ropes and borders, and hilarious interpretive scenes from the rhymes. This is a definite winner, as it will be enormously popular with children.-Lee Bock, Glenbrook Elementary School, Pulaski, WI Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information. - Copyright 2005 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Bulletin for the Center... - 09/01/2005 This collection of rhythmic chants and songs suitable for playground amusement brings together rhymes both familiar and new. The selected poems vary from the short and sweet (“1-1 was a racehorse./ 2-2 was one, too./ 1-1 won a race one day,/ And 2-2-1-1-2”) to the lengthy (many of which conclude with an open-ended count for rope skipping), and the meter maintains a steady jump-rope beat. Sweet’s textured mixed-media illustrations match the playful tenor of the rhymes and offer literal, and thus relatively goofy, interpretations of the poems (the image of the infamous liar, for instance, depicts a boy with his pants on fire and a long nose, roughly akin to the length of a telephone wire). Incorporating pencil, watercolor, and fabric scraps, the collage-like compositions, though occasionally overcluttered, boast visual playfulness and offer young perusers loads of opportunities to seek out the image that matches a particular verse. Noting that many of these rhymes haven’t changed much over centuries, Sierra’s introduction comments on the intergenerational bonds that can be created on the basis of shared childhood verses, thus recommending the collection for family sharing. This will be wildly popular with legions of jump-ropers and ball-bouncers, who will enjoy seeking out the familiar as much as learning a new cadre of rhymes. An index of first lines is included. - Copyright 2005 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
Booklist - 08/01/2005 Sierra has selected 50 traditional playground chants and rhymes for inclusion in this illustrated collection. Selections range from the familiar (Fudge, fudge tell the judge, / Mama's got a newborn baby) to the strange (Ladies and gentlemen, / Take my advice, / Pull down your pants / And slide on the ice) to the rude (BURP! Pardon me for being so rude. / It wasn't me, it was my food!). Sweet's comical, mixed-media art adds to the wackiness of the rhymes, with jump ropes commanding a prominent position, whether used by children or pickles or bears. Text is frequently incorporated into the pictures; verses are printed on ropes and on the stripes of flags. A great choice for back-to-school displays. - Copyright 2005 Booklist.