The Wheels On The Tuk Tuk (Kabir Sehgal & Surishtha Sehgal)

Summer Reading Day 79: Our book today was The Wheels On The Tuk Tuk by Kabir Sehgal and Surishtha Sehgal, an awesome look at Indian culture told through a twist on a familiar tune. Set to “Wheels on the Bus,” Wheels On The Tuk Tuk can be read or sung (though JJ definitely preferred singing), and explores a different part of an Indian street scene in each verse. From yogis, to sacred cows, poppadoms, chai, rupees and Diwali, the tuk tuk wala takes his passengers and the readers on a fun and educational ride.

This was such a cool book! Using such a well-known rhyme is a perfect way to learn new words and traditions for little ones. It was a great length for JJ, and she loved singing and bouncing on my knee as we read (and side note: this was one of the most fun books for me TO read that we’ve reviewed so far), plus the illustrations by Jess Golden are adorable, colorful and beautiful. Lastly, as much fun as JJ had with it, older kids would love this book because it teaches so many awesome Indian and Hindi cultural elements: in addition to the rhyme, there is also a glossary in the back that explains all the references. This one is absolutely Baby Bookworm approved! We loved it!

14 Cows For America (Carmen Agra Deedy)


Summer Reading Day 55: Our pick today was 14 Cows For America by Carmen Agra Deedy. It’s a deeply moving true story, told in picture book form, of a young Maasai man who was studying in America during September 11th. When he returns to visit his people the following spring, he tells them of what he witnessed, moving them to want to help heal the heart of America. So they decide to give 14 cows, each symbols of life and peace, to the nation of the United States of America as a gesture of goodwill and solidarity.

This is possibly one of my favorite children’s books ever written. The story is incredibly touching and has a beautiful message: no sincere gesture is ever too small. The artwork is absolutely BREATHTAKING, realistic and dreamlike at once, and even though it’s a slightly long story for most one year olds, she was so enraptured of the art that I was able to get away with it. The events of September 11th are dealt with well, the descriptions and art are subtle enough to convey the tragedy without being scary for young readers. And I dare you to read this to your little ones without choking up and/or finding a tear in your eye. It’s a book that will move you. Thumbs up.

Ten Little Fingers And Ten Little Toes (Mem Fox & Helen Oxenbury)


Summer Reading Day 52: Today’s pick was Ten Little Fingers And Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox & Helen Oxenbury. This is an adorable book, perfect for baby bookworms in length, subject and artwork. It compares babies born in different places, of different skin colors, to different families and different cultures, noting that no matter how different they might seem, all these babies ten little fingers and toes.

It’s a simple concept told with adorable illustrations of chubby little fingers, toes, cheeks and knees, which a nice underlying message that people from all walks of life all started as babies. Thumbs up.