Picture books

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

Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury and published by Walker Books is definitely one that we would recommend to share with a new baby.

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In this beautiful book we’re introduced to lots of different babies being born all over the world in lots of different places. A wonderful rhyming text flows through the book with repetitive lines that create a wonderful rhythm:

“There was one little baby who was born far away and another who was born on the very next day. And both of these babies, as everyone knows, has ten little fingers and ten little toes.”

This book is one I hold a special place for as it’s one that I bought for my youngest when he was a tiny baby. It became part of our routine at bedtime and one that we still read regularly. Here’s why we think it is so perfect:

  • It’s short enough for a quick bedtime read so even little babies with short attention spans can sit to listen to it.
  • The sing-song repetition creates a lovely rhythm throughout the story, perfect for babies to hear.
  • There are opportunities to interact with your baby on every page: each time the line “ten little fingers and ten little toes.” is repeated you can pair it with tickles and kisses on your babies fingers and toes. It’s such a joy watching them react and learning to anticipate as they get older.
  • Helen Oxenbury’s charming illustrations are a real joy. The babies all have their own personalities, playful, curious and full of fun. From their chubby wrists and knees to the way they hold themselves, every detail is drawn with perfection.

And here’s my little one, comparing his ten little fingers and toes to those in the book.

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Beautifully sentimental, this would be a perfect gift for a new baby and an excellent start to their library.

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