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Monkey See, Monkey Do: An Animal Exercise Book for You

Young children will love the movement exercises that accompany each animal rhyme in this new book from Millbrook Press.

Monkey See, Monkey Do: An Animal Exercise Book for You Monkey See, Monkey Do Book Cover Anita Holsonback has taught gymnastics in many countries around the world.

"Children are the same the world over," says Holsonback. "They all love doing animal moves!

And so it is that Holsonback has written Monkey See, Monkey Do: An Animal Exercise Book for You. First published in Belgium, the book is written in rhyme. Each rhyme focuses on the movements of a different animal -- and can be read aloud in a rhythm that imitates the animal's motion.

Read the elephant rhyme in a heavy, lumbering tone and rhythm:

Moving along, making its way
The elephant dines for hours each day.
Strolling and snuffing, munching on plants,
Wearing a suit with baggy gray pants.

Kids will love reading the speedy rabbit rhyme:

Dash, scatter, skip, flee,
hopping quickly under a tree.
Rabbits jump and rabbits zip,
and never, ever, seem to trip.

And -- most fun of all -- each rhyme can be acted out, providing lots of fun exercise for young children. The 24 exercises are divided into three groups -- those for beginners, intermediate, and advanced exercisers! The more advanced exercises require a bit more dexterity than the others do. (Most of the rhymes closely imitate actual animal movements, but a few of them require an imaginative "stretch"!)

A six-page addendum to the book provides classroom and phys ed teachers and parents with detailed directions, including step-by-step diagrams, for each exercise.

The exercises "will build strength and flexibility and improve balance and coordination," says Holsonback.

Leo Timmers' cartoonlike illustrations will make kids smile! The appealing illustrations show a pair of kids imitating animal locomotion in a variety of animal habitats. The rhymes and illustrations work well together. They're sure to inspire kids to mimic their furry (and scaly and feathery) friends!

Monkey See, Monkey Do: An Animal Exercise Book for You, written by Anita Holsonback (with Deb Adamson) and illustrated by Leo Timmers, is published by Millbrook Press. Ask your bookseller to order a copy for you, or contact Millbrook Press, 2 Old Milford Road, Brookfield, CT 06804.

Article by Gary Hopkins
Education World® Editor-in-Chief
Copyright © 1998 Education World