These are my hands/These are my feet by Judy Horacek

cover image

National Library of Australia. ISBN; 9-780642-277480.
Hard cover picture book. This is a wonderfully vibrant offering from Judy Horacek, who illustrated the much adored Mem Fox tome Where is the Green Sheep?. This book, aimed at the under 5's, takes the reader on a journey of all the things that busy hands and busy feet do in their day. A hardcover book with sturdy thick pages, this book makes the ideal transition text from board book to paper.
Horacek has cleverly drawn the toddler twosome in this book in a very gender neutral fashion, which makes the text relatable for the little ones, who are more easily able to place themselves within the story. There are other refreshing touches within the book which reflect Horacek's desire not to stereotype her toddler characters - the same hands pick up both a doll and a truck, the feet have shoes with faces and rainbow laces.
This book really does reflect the reality of life with toddlers - its vibrant use of colour and movement, the rollicking rhyme of the text, and the warm familiarity of day to day markers such as bath time and the bed time tuck in, as well as outdoor and indoor play. Parents and children alike will smile to see themselves and their routines reflected on the pages within, which is a sure sign of a winning toddler picture book, in my opinion.
The clever 'upside down'(or tete-beche for the lovers of the technical terms!) aspect of the book is a great introduction to conventions of print, such as identifying the cover, and re-inforcing that English is read from left to right, top to bottom. The book also sparked off discussion over dust jackets - why are they there, what are they called, what do they do, and no, you haven't broken the book.
A cheery read for toddlers everywhere.
Freya Lucas