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on 27 October 2013
This is loosely based on an American skipping rhyme. We treasure Colin McNaughton in this house as the most joyous illustrator of his own or others' work. Emma Chichester Clark is bland by comparison, as is McNaughton's pointless elaboration or deconstruction of this piece of folk-art; for the authentic thrill try Audrey Wood's Twenty Four Robbers, again in print from World's Work. Here's a couple of 'jump rope' samples for you

Don't say 'ain't'.
Your mother will faint.
Your father will fall
In a bucket of paint.
Your sister will cry.
Your brother will die.
Your dog will call the FBI

Not last night but the night before
24 robbers came to my door
They stole my watch and they stole my ring
and then they all began to sing
"Policeman, policeman, do your duty here comes (name) the American beauty!
She can wiggle; She can wobble;
She can do the split;
but she can't wear her dresses above her hips!"

Is it too late for an American Opie?
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VINE VOICEHALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERon 12 August 2010
This is a glorious book. Not last night, but the night before.... a whole host of nursery rhyme characters come to the door of a little boy and knock him down as they hurry upstairs. The story works well, there is anticipation of who is coming and recognising the characters. Finally, we realise it is the boy's birthday and they are bringing gifts. Great fun and the familiar characters make it easy for young children to join in with the fun.
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on 17 April 2014
This is one of my favorite childrens books ever and having had 4 children, I have read alot of books. The rhyming and imagery are lovely and the fact that they use well known nursery characters is brilliant. I highly recommend this book. If I could add one little piece of advice this book goes well when read with a west country accent...trust me,,it does
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on 2 November 2013
Wonderful book. The rhyme, rhythm and illustrations are perfect and my Granddaughter aged nearly three loves it. She recites a lot of it and we substitute other names (The book includes names of nursery rhyme characters.)
Colin McNaughton never disappoints.
Buy this book and have lots of fun.
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on 9 February 2013
Because of the rhyming words my two year old grandson nearly knows this book off by heart! I pause before the end of each sentence to allow him to finish it off. All the characters in the book are familiar to children as they are from favourite nursery rhymes. A good one for early years settings too.
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on 10 July 2013
THIS BOOK WAS PURCHASED FOR OUR TWO YEAR OLD GRAND DAUGHTER AND SHE LOVES IT. SHE ENJOYS BOOKS I WOULD RECOMMEND IT FOR ANY CHILD
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on 14 May 2013
My 3year-old grandson loved this book which had lots of familiar characters in it. A complete hit with him on the day.
Jclose2
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on 30 December 2012
Bought this as gift. My son loved the story. A great birthday gift due to the happy birthday song at the end.
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on 5 August 2014
Great book - kids loved it
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on 29 April 2013
My nursery class loved this book, they enjoyed the rhymes & the familiar characters & small children do relish a bit of violence too!
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