Rufus and Friends: Rhyme Time
Iza Trapani, author and illustrator
Iza Trapani is the author/illustrator of such books as Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star; I’m a Little Teapot; and The Itsy Bitsy Spider. Iza came to the United States from Poland when she was a little girl and began to learn English by reading a collection of Mother Goose rhymes. She now shares her love of rhythm, sounds, and playful language through her own picture books. She lives in the Hudson Valley of New York.
Read more about Iza Trapani.
Trapani continues her trademark extensions of beloved nursery tales and songs with this latest, a collection of 14 tongue tanglers. Beginning with the traditional Mother Goose stanzas, Trapani then goes on to add at least one more in the same rhyme and rhythm pattern, seamlessly continuing the story. Dr. Foster’s unfortunate trip to Gloucester ends this way: “Docter Foster, frazzled, flustered, / In a flutter flew. / The spill caused a chill, / And the doctor fell ill / With a fever and flu—achoo!” The stand-outs among the lesser-known rhymes include “Cackle, Cackle Mother Goose,” about a goose with only enough loose feathers to stuff half a pillow, and “Fiddle Dee Dee,” about the marriage of the fly to the bumblebee. A cast of five wonderfully expressive dogs, including the titular Rufus, act out the humorous rhymes. The illustrations are filled with details, including hidden pictures that readers can search for; a list is in the back. Trapani is a staple for young children—don’t miss this one.
School Library Journal
A prolific author presents 14 extended poems, many of them fun tongue twisters. Rufus, a dog, introduces his canine friends Lulu, Tucker, Stella, and Mops; dressed in colorful costumes, the pups act out familiar rhymes as if they were onstage. On the final page, Rufus asks readers to go back to the beginning to look for objects hidden within the illustrations. For example, in "Betty Botter," five cleverly disguised items begin with the letter "B"—a balloon, bone, boot, butterfly, and button. The lively artwork was created using watercolor, ink, and colored pencils. Each actor/pooch is a different breed; they all have priceless facial expressions and vary with the situations. Children will ask for repeated readings as they search for the pictures again and again. —Blair Christolon, Prince William Public Library System, Manassas, VA
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Page count: 40
8 x 10