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Cover image for Animal crackers : a delectable collection of pictures, poems, and lullabies for the very young
Animal crackers : a delectable collection of pictures, poems, and lullabies for the very young

1st ed.
Publication Information:
Boston : Little, Brown, ©1996.
Physical Description:
64 pages : color illustrations ; 32 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
An illustrated collection of Mother Goose rhymes, lullabies, and contemporary verses that celebrate special times in a child's first years.
Reading Level:
Added Author:


Call Number
808.81 DYER
808.81 ANIMAL
J 808.81 Animal

On Order



A lavishly illustrated anthology celebrates a child's early years with favorite nursery rhymes, soothing lullabies, and playful verses. Full color. (Baby/Preschool)

Author Notes

Jane Dyer is the acclaimed illustrator of her own anthology, Animal Crackers, as well as the bestselling picture book I Love You Like Crazy Cakes by Rose Lewis. Jane Dyer lives in western Massachusetts and paints her extraordinary watercolors in a beautiful sun-drenched studio.

Reviews 4

School Library Journal Review

PreS‘Nursery rhymes, poems, and lullabies are arranged by subject and attractively laid out on large pages. ABC and counting rhymes and some dealing with shapes and colors, food, animals, the seasons, and playtime are all included. Many can be found in classic Mother Goose collections; others are by contemporary poets such as William Carlos Williams, Eve Merriam, Nancy Willard, Clyde Watson, and Jane Yolen. Whimsical illustrations in soft watercolors have lots of appeal for the very young.‘Sally R. Dow, Ossining Public Library, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publisher's Weekly Review

Dyer (Talking Like the Rain; The Girl in the Golden Bower) surpasses her considerable achievements in other poetry collections with a volume that not only lives up to the "delectable" of the subtitle but has the power to entice youngest children to cherish the richness and diversity of both language and art. In each of seven categories-Playtime; Animals, Animals; Lullaby and Good Night; etc.-Dyer includes the best work of both traditional and contemporary poets together with pellucid watercolors that simply dazzle. She gives a faintly old-fashioned look to the faces of her multicultural cast; coupled with her bold and sophisticated designs, the images have a welcome air of timelessness and help create a view of a global community of children. Regardless of the complexity of the perspective or metaphors, Dyer grounds each illustration with details that indicate her unerring understanding of the sensibilities and interests of youngest children. This sumptuous book comes with an attached satin ribbon that will mark not only pages turned but the book's remarkable pleasures. Ages 1-5. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Horn Book Review

(Picture Book) Rosy-cheeked children and chubby, cozy animals decorate the pages of Jane Dyer's anthology of sixty-two nursery rhymes for young children. Dyer includes many familiar, traditional poems and lullabies, including "A Apple Pie," "Sing a Song of Sixpence," and George MacDonald's "Where Did You Come From, Baby Dear?" She also includes less well known pieces such as "The Prayer of the Little Ducks" by Carmen Bernos de Gasztold and "Cradle Song of the Elephants," a Brazilian lullaby by Adriano del Valle. The collection is divided into seven sections, including "Animals, Animals," "Food, Food, and More Food," and "Playtime." Readers will find poems that invite play and participation and others that set a mood or calm a baby. The poems are illustrated with Dyer's soft, old-fashioned watercolor paintings that create a warm, comfortable world in which children are safe and loved. The illustration accompanying Christopher Morley's "Animal Crackers" gives the reader a top view of a plate of cookies and a cup of cocoa, complete with melting marshmallow, waiting for the reader to join the feast. The handsome book design, which includes a violet ribbon bookmark, adds to the charm of Dyer's delectable volume. m.v.k. J. Patrick Lewis Riddle-icious (Picture Book) Illustrated by Debbie Tilley. The two dozen-plus short poems in this spirited collection are actually riddles set in verse. With fresh and surprising imagery, the combined riddles/verses are illustrated with whimsical creations that give personality to the characters represented in the riddles, underline their humor, and provide clues for solving them. (And for when you're stumped, the answers are printed backward in tiny text at the bottom of each page.) While the riddles are clever, the poetry can stand on its own: "I am a helmet / on the ground, / but so afraid of strangers, / I disappear / inside my hat. / The world is full of dangers." (A turtle.) This collection is bound to please four- and five-year-olds, who will memorize the puzzles with frightening speed and ask them over and over again of everyone they meet. e.s.w. Judy Sierra Good Night, Dinosaurs (Picture Book) Illustrated by Victoria Chess. That ever-popular species, the dinosaur, shows its softer side in this extended lullaby. Young diplodocuses fuss about brushing their teeth and then "Mom and Dad diplodocus / (Each one was bigger than a bus) / Chased them off to bed with hisses / Followed by diplodokisses." Triceratops take a bath in a swamp; tyrannosaurus rexes are sung a lullaby by their tyrannograndma; stegosauruses tell scary stories - but all settle down to slumber to a refrain of "Good night, dinosaurs, good night." This oddly felicitous combination of extinct lizards and soothing lullabies is illustrated in Victoria Chess's fine-lined and beady-eyed style with family groupings of recognizable yet cuddly dinosaurs cozying up to a primeval landscape. Young dinosaur fanciers will be charmed and undoubtedly claim this as their favorite go-to-sleep book. a.a.f. Janet S. Wong A Suitcase of Seaweed and Other Poems (Intermediate, Older) Wong's mother is Korean, her father is Chinese, and she herself has grown up in this country, as she explains in the brief biographical essays that preface this collection's three sections: "Korean Poems," "Chinese Poems," and "American Poems." The quiet, lyric poems acknowledge proudly, subtly, and with occasional touches of irony and humor the distinct strands within the weave of cultures of which she is a part. Her mother is the commanding figure of the Korean poems, first introduced as a laughing village girl meeting the man she will marry, then shown praying, styling hair, and toasting marshmallows - or perhaps grasshoppers! - around a campfire. In the other two sections the author reveals more of her inner self at epiphanous moments: while pouring tea for her grandfather "like an offering to the gods," for example, or upon recognizing another Asian face in a room full of strangers. A few of the poems are set in rhymes, but the best of them are written in free verse that is wistful, revealing, and direct: "Our family / is a quilt / of odd remnants / patched together / in a strange / pattern, / threads fraying, / fabric wearing thin- / but made to keep / its warmth / even in bitter / cold." n.v. From HORN BOOK, (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Booklist Review

Ages 1^-4. Dyer has combined a wonderful assortment of poems, lullabies, and nursery rhymes with sweet, gentle illustrations to create an immensely appealing picture book. Very young children will enjoy the section titled "Playtime," which features such childhood favorites as "Ring around the Rosie" and "Pat-a-Cake." Two-and three-year-olds will benefit from the selections in the "ABC, 123, Shapes, Colors" section, and older preschoolers will like the more challenging concepts in "Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall." Some sections will appeal to all youngsters. Generously illustrated with soothing watercolors, this charming, oversize book offers quality as well as variety. An author/title index is appended. --Lauren Peterson