Before I begin, I must issue a warning that there is a large chance that this post will get a certain song stuck in your head for the day. Please forgive me. But, hopefully this book will also give you a new version of the song to sing, which in my opinion, is quite fun. So, today I present a really enjoyable book that you can actually read or sing! Perfect for spring, great for acting out, and full of silly lovable animals – here is If You’re Hoppy by April Pulley Sayre, pictures by Jackie Urbanovic, 2011.
With fun rhyming text, set to the rhythm of the traditional children’s song “If You’re Happy And You Know It,” the book begins with hoppy animals like frogs, bunnies, and even a cricket.
It then goes on to silliness like being sloppy like a pig and growly like a dog and other animals (or a tummy!).
Each sequence names some animals and then gives an action “to really show it” which are incredibly fun to mimic. And I really like these since they don’t necessarily require getting up and moving to do them. Not that that is bad, but it really messes up the reading if you have to get up every two pages! So, you squeeze your face for sloppy like this awesome raccoon, stretch your toes and the like. Fun easy actions that keep you going but don’t necessarily make you dread reading the book aloud!
There is a “scary” section in the middle, with some monster shadows about being scaly and mean, but I’m not going to give those animals away. I just thought you should know about them, you know, in case you really don’t want to “see” them.
If you haven’t picked up on it yet, this is such a fun book! Lots of energy and great, unpredictable rhymes are combined with extremely expressive and excellently illustrated animals. My daughter flips for this book, not to mention “If You’re Happy And You Know It” is her favorite song since discovering clapping. We read this one at storytime this weekend and it really crosses several ages of kids which I think is the mark of a really great read-aloud book.
Author April Pulley Sayre has quite the amount of stellar books to her pen. Known best for nonfiction books, I love her clever lyricism and creativity in this book. I’m adding several of her titles to my library list as I’ve become quite interested in more nonfiction books, especially by excellent authors.
I love Jackie Urbanovic’s illustration style! So fun, in a cartoon style, and with lovely watercolor texture here. Her animals’ expressions are just so perfect and very giggle-inducing. Be sure to check out her website too for printable coloring pages, including one of the hoppy bunny!
One other note, if you do fancy yourself singing through this book, the very last spread is kind of on its own in the singing pattern. So do yourself a favor and read ahead so you can practice what you want to do when you reach the end.
I hope today you find yourself a little hoppy. It’s better than being sloppy or growly, at least in my opinion.