Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes
By Mem Fox and Helen Oxenbury
Published by Harcourt, 2008
This beautiful book is sketched and uses watercolor for a wash that is just slightly bolder than pastel. It is book in rhyme about the diversity of the world’s babies, and how they all are really the same because they have “ten little fingers, / and ten little toes.” It ends with the speaker talking about the most important baby of all– her own. Though the sentiment is sweet, I find it a little off-putting. To me, the message becomes “yeah, all the kids in the world are cute and all, but honestly YOU’RE the best baby.” And of course that baby is a white baby of a white mother. I’m probably reading way too much into it, but I would like the book better if they had just stuck with the theme of cute babies from around the world.
The illustrations in this book are adorable, and they truly ingratiate the reader to the cute babies within its pages.
Great to use in the classroom when talking about equality or multicultural topics. World Geography is taught in VA in the 9th and 10th grades, and teachers could use this book to warm up and have students attempt to identify the regions of the world from which the children come. SOL 1.6 (First Grade) addresses physical surrounding and how they affect the people that live in a particular place– the book gives clues as to the surroundings in which these children live.
Accessed: Augusta County Library