C.W. Bowie, author
C.W. Bowie is really three people. Wendie Old has written several biographies for children, including To Fly: The Story of the Wright Brothers (Clarion). She lives in Baltimore, Maryland. Mary Bowman-Kruhm lives in Frederick, Maryland, and has co-authored 21 books for children and teens. Claudine Wirths, who co-authored many books with Bowman-Kruhm, passed away in 2000.
Read more about C.W. Bowie.
Fred Willingham, illustrator
Fred Willingham has loved to draw since he was a young boy. His favorite subject matter has always been people, starting with comic book characters and moving on to draw his family and friends. His high school art teacher encouraged his talent and his love of drawing and Fred succeeded in going to art school at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. He graduated with a degree in visual communication and became a freelance illustrator. He has illustrated several children's books for both the trade and educational markets. Fred lives in Cleveland, Ohio, with his family.
Read more about Fred Willingham.
- ABC Best Books for Children
- Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Book Award
In this sequel to Busy Toes (1998), Bowie (a pseudonym for a trio of women) extols the handiness of opposable thumbs and fingers. In rhyming text this enthusiastic read highlights 21 samplings of what hands and fingers can accomplish-such as "Itsy-bitsy spider" and a shadow play. Also celebrated is the usefulness of these ten feelers as they help us to count or allow us to interact with the world through the simple motion of petting a dog. Willingham's multi-racial chalk illustrations superbly capture the subtlety of the children's facial expressions and the dexterity of their pudgy digits. A single picture book could not possibly enumerate the abundant ways fingers make our lives extraordinary, but this work does beg more. The reader night welcome additional finger rhymes or sign language examples. It's fertile ground, though, for preschoolers and families to think up their own finger fun.
In this companion to Busy Toes (1999), young children are shown engaging in a variety of activities in which they use their fingers. Short, simple rhymes accompany realistic pastel paintings showing little hands waving good-bye, finger painting, signing "I love you," and more. Except for occasional stiffness, Willingham's figures are nicely rendered and represent children from a variety of cultures. Unfortunately, many scenes have flat, bland backgrounds devoid of objects, giving the pictures a sterile, false look that detracts from otherwise appealing scenes of active play that pave the way for a calming bath, a bedtime story, and, finally, a good-night kiss. Preschoolers will like paging through this and seeing kids about their own age doing fun, familiar activities. A comforting book to snuggle up with at the end of a busy day.
School Library Journal
A simple rhyming text that invites participation and repetition explores the ways fingers move. "Fingers high,/fingers low./Fingers reach to touch a toe." The interracial cast models the actions, from waving to washing to making an itty-bitty spider. Although the youngsters pictured seem slightly older than the target audience, very young children will delight in imitating the text as it is read to them: "Fingers count,/fingers stroke./Fingers squish,/fingers poke." The lack of plot is replaced by solid concepts, clearly pictured in pleasant pastel illustrations, that children will enjoy exploring.
Page count: 28
5 13/16 x 6 11/16