Prather’s Pick: Ten new friends |

Prather’s Pick: Ten new friends

Prather's Picks

This week’s picture book for young children is “Tumble Bumble,” written and illustrated by Felicia Bond. ( Who could forget “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” and other “If you…” books in a series,  written and illustrated by Laura Numeroff and Felicia Bond ?) This week’s book was written in 1996 but perhaps has been reprinted because you can still purchase it in hardcover. See details at the end of the review.

I like the book a lot because it has a great storyline, is told in rhyme, and might be used to help young children learn to count. Besides that, the illustrations are wonderful.

The leading character of the book is a little bug that looks a lot like a brown ant. As the story begins, the little bug is walking down the street when he meets up with an orange cat. The bug stops to talk, and then the bug and cat go for a stroll and end up bumping into a crocodile that is standing next to a truck.

The delivery truck is filled with flower arrangements. A bee is flying around an arrangement of white lilies and some small blue-purple flowers. A card has been stuck down in a red bow. The black and yellow bumblebee is crocodile’s friend so the bug, cat, crocodile, and bee all begin to dance a jig and don’t notice a pig that is standing next to a bakery window. (No wonder—the cakes and pies look delicious, indeed.)

The others bump into the pig and even step on his tail. The pig begins to squeal. So crocodile picks up the baby pig, cradles him in her arms, the others climb up on crocodile, and she sings them a song as they bounce along. Down the road they bump into a rock with a big green toad sitting on it.

Boy, it startles the toad which scares a mouse, and he bumps into a big yellow house. The animals kiss the mouse’s head and then ring the doorbell. When nobody comes to the door, the animals tiptoe inside. The reader can count the number of tiptoeing feet—fourteen in all. In the kitchen they make a big mess as they help themselves to ice cream, donuts, pretzels, drumsticks, and more.

Then, tummies full, they “tumble bumble” up the stairs. They open closet doors to check for bears and finally find a room with a bed. The quilt on the bed looks comfortable, and the animals are getting sleepy so they crawl under the quilt. The reader can count the number of animals—seven in all—but wait! There are more surprise animals to come and the owner of the house, too—ten in all.

How much fun it will be to count along with young readers as you share this book with them.

My copy of this book, in hardcover, was published by Front Street in 1996. Downtown Books will order the book (I checked) for $7.99, plus shipping, available in hardcover.

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