One of my daughter’s very favourite books, when she was little, was a bi-covered book – where flipping the story over and reading half from one end and half from the other was part of the fun. Memories therefore came flooding back when Judy Horacek’s new book arrived – a hard cover picture book for littlies, that upends a couple of kids and takes us through the joys of those wiggly, squiggly hands and feet, that get into so much toddler mischief.
These are my Feet follows a wee poppet on her travels around the yard, the park, the beach, inside, outside and all sorts of adventurous places. We also learn she has shoes with faces and rainbow laces – oh the envy! So cute.
In These are my Hands, we meet a young tot who uses his hands to pick up things, gobble down cookies, hold hands, and of course – finger paint. We also learn he uses them to reach for things, and get buttons all mixed up on his pyjamas.
I actually use ‘he’ and ‘she’ lightly here – for both characters could indeed be either gender, which makes for greater child-relatability and is refreshingly anti-stereotypical. I particularly love how the ‘boy’ picks up both a doll and a truck.
Rhyming text gives the book a pleasing rhythm – and Horacek’s typically charming, brightly-coloured illustrations are prime visual real estate for little ones – busting with character and movement. I actually smiled whilst reading this book because it so beautifully typifies very young children, and books that do that are always a winner with the toddler set.
Complete with dustjacket and thick, sturdy pages, this would be a gorgeous gift book for kids, from one of Australia’s iconic author/illustrators.
These are my Hands/These are my Feet is published by the National Library of Australia.