Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes

Ten Little Fingers

This is the book I always buy for friends and family expecting a baby. All my kids love it and it’s such a lovely story to read with them.

The book introduces a number of babies born in different places who all have the same ten little fingers and ten little toes. The premise is nice, subtlety teaching acceptance of diversity. Renowned Australian author Mem Fox uses rhyme and repetition to help little ones remember the story and recite it along with you. She manages to introduce early maths with fingers and toes to count too.

While that’s all good, the reason I like this book is because my kids do. They reach out their little hands to match the hands of the babies in the book, counting the fingers on the page and then on their own hands. They can relate to it – they know the story is about a small child, just like them.

The end of the book is my favourite, with the reader introducing the last baby “a sweet little child who was mine, all mine … ” and giving that baby “three little kisses on the tip of its nose”. Seriously, who can resist a book that encourages your little one to lean in and have their nose kissed?! When I read it to my twins I just changed the word “baby” to “babies” and got two cute little noses to kiss!

Helen Oxenbury’s illustrations are lovely, featuring baby boys and girls with blonde, brown, red and black hair. Her colourful drawings show the babies are friends, playing and laughing together. My children have all found extra details in the pictures that they relate to and point out every time we read it.

Ten Little Fingers is a quick bedtime story, with a sentence to a page at most.

I’d recommend reading this book to children especially from birth to aged four or so.

You can buy Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes at the Book Depository.

Written by Men Fox and illustrated by Helen Oxenbury. Published in London by Walker Books Ltd, 2008. 20pp. ISBN: 9781406320701.


6 thoughts on “Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes

  1. We received this book as a gift for my first-born. The perfect baby book. It is infused with a beautiful nostalgia. Mem Fox has such an amazing ability to tap into big emotions so simply. Have you been to her website? She is hilarious! Thanks for linking up. Hope to see you next month xx


    • I’m glad you have a copy Shannon – it’s a lovely one to share with your children in so many ways. I agree her blog is great! And I found her Reading Magic book really useful too as my girls were learning to read. Their teachers may not agree, but I let them skip their school readers in favour of anything else and they love to reading well. 🙂


  2. Helen Oxenbury is so famous in France. All the serie of Leo et Popi is used and used and used in kinder garden and families. We love her. I didn’t read that one by the way. Thanks for linking! xx cathy


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