Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb is a great, rhythmic poem about monkeys playing drums, with an infectious, earwormy refrain: "Dum ditty dum ditty dum dum dum." It opens with one monkey drumming on his drum with one thumb, and progresses until "millions of monkeys" are drumming on drums (dum ditty dum ditty dum dum dum).
It's not (just) the refrain that makes this book so great -- it's the monkeys. Illustrator Eric Gurney's drumming monkeys are a motley collection of comic beatnik simians, sporting sweater-vests, giant muttonchops, goatees, and big golden rings. Each one bears an expression of such incredible cool and mischief that I could look at them all day.
I'm clearly not the only one. When Poesy wakes up every morning, I go into her room and change her diaper and say, "Did you have a nice sleep, Poesy? What did you dream about?" Every morning this week, she's said the same thing: "Monkeys drumming on drums!"
The pocket-sized edition is great for trips, and the rhythm is a perfect distraction for grumpy car-rides, impatient restaurant meals, and interminable waits for the bus. And unlike many of the kids' books and videos that Poesy wants to play 200 times in a row, I don't get tired of this one, either.
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I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.