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Tiptoe Joe: Ginger Foglesong Gibson & Laura Rankin

Book: Tiptoe Joe
Author: Ginger Foglesong Gibson
Illustrator: Laura Rankin
Pages: 32
Age Range: 2-5

Tiptoe Joe, written by Ginger Foglesong Gibson and illustrated by Laura Rankin, is a nice read-aloud bedtime book for younger readers. Tiptoe Joe, a red sneaker-wearing bear, runs around gathering all of his animal friends, repeatedly warning them to be quiet. Each animal makes a different sound ("SLAP, SLAP" for the beaver, "THUMP, THUMP" for the rabbit, etc.), but they all try to tiptoe along with Joe as he takes them to his cave to reveal a surprise. The conclusion will hardly be astonishing to adult readers, but it will be satisfying for preschoolers (who, as far as I can tell, pretty much all love babies).

The repetitive structure of Tiptoe Joe makes it a soothing bedtime book. Like this:

"Rabbit, Rabbit, come with me.
I know something you should see.


Turkey, Turkey, come with me.
I know something you should see.


The varying sounds of each animal's movement are predictable enough to give kids a chance to participate, but also add to the fun of reading this book aloud. The sounds are repeated several times throughout the book, giving kids plenty of chances to chime in. 

Rankin's watercolor illustrations lend a gentle humor to the book. Each animal is wearing some typically human accessory, from glasses on the moose to a cap on the beaver. The animals are rosy-cheeked and smiling, reminiscent of stuffed animals. Each animal is shown first in its own habitat (woods, field, etc.) and then in more of a closeup, adding a very non-intrusive educational component to the book. The last page is sure to make readers say "Awww!". 

Tiptoe Joe is aimed squarely at younger readers, from the relatively simple, repetitive text to the participatory sounds to the charm of the animals' faces. It could certainly work in a toddler storytime, but I think it is better suited to at-home bedtime read-aloud. I look forward to trying it with my daughter. Recommended.

Publisher: Greenwillow Books (@HarperChildrens)
Publication Date: April 23, 2013
Source of Book: Advance review copy from the publisher

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© 2013 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook