Mem Fox (text), Judy Horacek (illustrator), Bonnie and Ben Rhyme Again, Scholastic Australia, October 2018, 32 pp., $19.99 (hbk), ISBN 9781742996240
This delightful story, following on from Good Night, Sleep Tight, is a rhyming text about rhymes. The two children and their friend, Skinny Doug, go for a walk around their community. Along the way they are inspired to make connections between things they see and rhymes they know. The nursery rhyme characters join in the fun along with them.
Bonnie and Ben Rhyme Again is an ideal story to share with pre-readers. I read this with my four-year-old granddaughter and she loved it, running off to get more nursery rhyme favourites at the end. The perfectly metered rhyme rolls off the tongue and is a joy to read aloud. The repetitive structure and refrain aids predictability and opportunities to connect with known verse has little ones joyfully joining in. The clever cues had us guessing which rhyme might follow – was the spider Incy Wincy or could Little Miss Muffet be next? The addition of the simple map on the endpapers also helps readers to predict and then retell. The vibrant illustrations are fun and extend the text. The green sheep makes an appearance, hiding from Bo Peep, noted with much excitement by my granddaughter.
Reviewed by Sharon Seymour