Thursday, March 4, 2010

Meet Ed, Ned, Ted and Bob, Those Rhyming Dust Bunnies!

"Bob, no..."LOOK OUT!  HERE COMES A BIG SCARY MONSTER WITH A BROOM!"does not rhyme with anything, really. "

Man, those rhyming dust bunnies, they get me every time! 

Jan Thomas is a writer I will always read with anticipation.  Her books are so perfect for storytimes, for one thing.  No one ever stops paying attention half way through.  The illustrations are always strongly coloured and a bit goofy and wild, but contained within strong black lines that make everything clear and easy to see.  They're so eye-catching.  She's also got a great sense of comic timing for young children.  I love how she introduces a joke and lets it build and build, and then, whammo!  Everyone's rolling in the aisles. 

Actually, both Rhyming Dust Bunnies and it's brand new sequel, Here Comes the Big, Mean Dust Bunny!  play off of the same joke.  Ed, Ned, and Ted like to "rhyme...all the time!" Bob's the odd guy out.  When Ted asks his friends what rhymes with "car", Ed and Ned suggest "jar" and "tar".  Bob suggests "LOOK!" and is gently corrected. ("No, Bob..."LOOK!" does not rhyme with car!")  Of course, at the end of the story it turns out that Bob has not been playing the game at all, but is anxiously on the lookout for danger.  The multi-hued dust bunnies flee the broom just in the nick of time.

In Here Comes the Big, Mean Dust Bunny a new dust bunny, the traditional dustlike grey (but with rather untraditional, monster-like sharp teeth)  joins in the game.  But the Big Mean Dust Bunny turns out to be not so nice (surprise, surprise),  chasing and sitting on Ed, Ned and company.  Finally the cat sits on HIM!  (Look at that.  He is flat.  Like a matDrat that cat!)  The others save him and he is reformed.  ("My face feels weird."  "It's called a SMILE!") 

Thomas emphasizes the rhyming words by presenting them in brightly coloured font.  Bob's non-rhyming words are coloured differently, to emphasize, as Sesame Street would say, that One of These Things Is Not Like the Others.  These books could be considered especially educational for preschoolers, since rhyming is one of the ways that young children learn about language.  With Thomas and her dust bunnies, learning is FUN! 

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