Friday, December 9, 2011

Perfect Picture Book Friday: Wiggle!

One of the first things babies do--even before they learn how to eat, or to babble, or to sit--is to wiggle. And then they keep on wiggling and wiggling and wiggling some more throughout their toddler years and beyond. No wonder Wiggle, the first picture book collaboration between author Doreen Cronin and illustrator Scott Menchin, was such a success. It's all about wiggling!

Children's author Susanna Leonard Hill has started a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Fridays, which is part of a resource she's developing for parents and teachers who are looking for high-quality picture books to combine with educational activities at home and in the classroom. Every Friday Susanna takes recommendations to add to the resource, and I'm recommending Wiggle this week. As you might have guessed from its title alone, Wiggle would also be a great addition to any dance teacher's picture book collection!
General Information
  • Title: Wiggle
  • Author: Doreen Cronin
  • Illustrator: Scott Menchin
  • Publisher: Atheneum (Simon & Schuster)
  • Date of publication: 2005
  • Genre: Fiction
  • Age: Preschool and younger

  • Animals
  • Movement
  • Wiggling

Opening and Synopsis

Do you wake up with a wiggle? Do you wiggle out of bed? 
If you wiggle with your breakfast, it might wind up on your head.

An adorable beige and brown dog is the star of the book, and Cronin's upbeat rhyming text gives him lots of ideas for wiggling. He wiggles with his breakfast, wiggles with his animal friends, wiggles different body parts, and even wiggles in his underwear! 

Why I Like This Book

I love picture books written in rhyme, and the rhyme in this book is especially creative. Who knew there were so many ways to wiggle! I also love the expressions on the dog's face and the childlike quality of the illustrations. The dog and other animals are drawn with black outlines that are colored in, but the coloring doesn't quite make it inside the lines all the time. This just adds to the book's charm, as do the actual photographs of objects like a pancake, a rubber duck, and a toy ball that are incorporated into the art and sprinkled throughout the book. On one page, the dog is even wearing a sweater and hat made out of real yarn (or at least a photograph of real yarn). Neat! 

  • Wiggle was chosen as the 2009 book for the Kansas Reads to Preschoolers project. Created as part of the project, this impressive 55-page toolkit contains more than 30 activities for preschoolers that are all related to the book. The activities focus on reading, movement, math, crafts, and more!
  • Simon & Schuster has put a variety of games, worksheets, and coloring pages together into this activity kit that can be used alongside the book and its sequel Bounce (which I'll talk about in more detail in an upcoming post). They're sure to keep kids wiggling, bouncing, and thinking, too!

In addition to being Perfect Picture Book Friday, today is Poetry Friday. So there are now two great reasons to explore the kidlitosphere at the end of every week! Today's Poetry Friday host is Robyn Hood Black at Read, Write, Howl. You'll be sure to find lots of original poetry and posts about other books in verse there.

And to see what others are recommending for today's Perfect Picture Book Friday, click here. You can also find the full resource of Perfect Picture Books, which has a whole category devoted to the arts, here. Happy Friday, everyone!

This post is also part of a December of Doreen on my blog. You can find a list of all the posts in the series here. They are all related to Doreen Cronin and her movement-themed books!


  1. The line about wiggling with your breakfast had me literally laughing out loud! This book sounds like such fun, and such a celebration of wiggling, instead of the usual "sit still and don't wiggle" that kids so often hear.

    Thank you!

  2. I don't read much for preschoolers, and books like this make me think I am missing out. Great choice, Kerry.

  3. I totally agree with Joanna ... I should visit the Children's Room in the library.

  4. I HAVE to read this to my son, who is a HUGE wiggler! :-)

  5. Thanks for sharing, Kerry - kids love this, I'm sure! (And wiggly older folks, too....)

  6. This looks like a delightful book for young children. I too laughed out loud at the rhyme & assume there's more to come! Plus-Wiggles!

  7. Like Joanna, I don't read to preschoolers much and feel like I miss out. Nothing says I cant take it our for myself though. Thanks for the fun review on Wiggle and look for bounce. :)

  8. What a cute book and I also loved the line about the breakfast ending up on your head. I am in awe of those who can write in rhyme. Thankyou for this wonderful post Kerry.

  9. I've never heard of this one, it sounds and looks delightful! Thanks for sharing Kerry.

  10. I love rhyme books too. And, what wonderful resources. This is going on my library list.

  11. Thanks so much for stopping by, everyone. It's so much fun to get so many visitors on my blog. This book really is a lot of fun, as is its sequel Bounce and the third book in the series, Stretch. For those who don't spend much time reading preschool books, I highly recommend it. My youngest is going to start kindergarten next year, but I think I'll always spend time reading picture books for the littlest ones :)

  12. Kerry, I adore your blog! Thank you for the Wiggle rec-I love Doreen Cronin and we have this book in our library-I'll have to pull it for a lesson with my Kinder classes. The activity toolkit is fantastic! Thanks so much! :)

  13. Hi, Kelly. Thanks for stopping by. I couldn't believe the effort that was put into making some of the activities for Wiggle, so I knew I had to post them on Perfect Picture Book Friday. I'm so glad you found them useful, and I hope the kids enjoy them!

  14. Ooooh, wiggles and giggles! Sounds like a book I'd thoroughly enjoy. Thanks for sharing this one. I seem to have missed out on this recommendation a few Poetry Fridays ago. haha. Lovely! Will keep an eye out for this one.


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