Tag Archives: Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes

Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox and illustrated by Helen Oxenbury

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Apologies for the blurred image Boo was trying to run off with the book see her hand

Somehow this book passed me by the first time I became a parent. I truly don’t know how as it’s a beautiful book.

It was written in 2008 published by Walker Books Ltd the edition we have was published in 2011.

Rosie Rabbit getting ready for bedtime reading

Rosie Rabbit getting ready for bedtime reading

The text has a rhyming repetitive way of taking you through the story of explaining that although babies can be born in various places around the world and although they can each look slightly different they (on the most part) are all the same really as they have ten little fingers and ten little toes.

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Without a very young child knowing about differences around the world it’s a lovely way to introduce this subtly. The book however can grow with the child and could be used as a starting point of discussion suggesting where some of the babies may be from and showing them on a globe for example “there was one little baby born on the ice and another in a tent who was just as nice”.

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Each double spread page has illustrations of two different babies born in different cultures and then the rhyme continues over the page with illustrations of all the babies shown already up to that point with the repetitive rhyme “and both of these babies as everyone knows has ten little fingers and ten little toes”

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Boo who is 20 months loves this book she likes the illustrations of the babies and points to each one saying “baby”. It’s been a lovely way to reinforce where her fingers and toes are as I read it to her I get her to wiggle her fingers and show me her toes.The rhyme is not too energetic so it’s perfect for bedtime.

Our favourite part though which Boo gets excited about is the last few pages and where I do actually kiss her on the nose. The rhyme changes slightly in this part and it focuses on the narrator talking about their own baby;

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“But the next baby born was truly divine, a sweet little child who was mine, all mine. And this little baby as everyone knows, has ten little fingers, ten little toes and three little kisses on the tip of its nose.”

I often change the last bit instead of “tip of its nose” I change it for her I could change it for her name instead although this would change the rhyme perhaps too much.

As I noted earlier Boo likes this book, it has helped her remember which are her fingers and which are her toes and where her nose is and has started pointing them out on her doll too. She likes the illustrations and loves the anticipation of the end and receiving kisses on her nose! I think she would give this 10/10.

I wish I had found this book earlier not just for Boo but for Monkey who was born the year it was published. The book can be used for many starting points of discussion as children grow noticing the different cultures, different landscapes, discussing where in the world they could be from. Explaining all babies are the same no matter where they’re from. It’s a lovely book and would be perfect as a baby shower gift or a gift for a newborn I would therefore give this book 10/10.

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