imitation · music · OBSERVATIONS · picture books

This book makes hand gestures fun!

This meme was started by Sheila at Book Journey and the kids’ version has been adapted by Jen and Kellee at Teach Mentor Texts.

I’m not sure what the skill area would be called, but I’ve been trying to get Isabelle to imitate hand motions in familiar songs.  She imitates some of the gestures in some of the songs we sing in school, but she doesn’t copy the movements in the traditional pre-school songs (possibly because I don’t love singing those songs since they feel old school to me).  That said, I’ve been encouraged to sing “Wheels on the Bus” with her by quite a few folks since it has gestures that are easy to imitate.  No matter how many times I sung this song in the past, Isabelle was never excited about imitating the hand gestures.

Enter Pete the Cat and now she’s interested.

The Wheels on the BusPete the Cat: The Wheels on the Bus by James Dean is a new book that makes the “Wheels on the Bus” song exciting for Isabelle.  I introduced it to her at bedtime last night and had to read (i.e., sing/read) it to her twice.  Initially, Isabelle seemed excited about trying to sing the words “all day long” at the end of each page spread.  Quite frankly, I think she loved the illustrations since she thinks cats are cute.

This morning she perused the book independently while I was getting myself ready.  Then she handed me the book as a means to request that I bring the book downstairs.  Once we got downstairs, we sat down beside each other on the couch and I sang/read the book to her twice.  Again, she attempted to sing the words “all day long,” in addition to trying some of the hand motions.  She enjoyed beeping the horn on the bus, making the signals on the bus blink, and having the door on the bus open and shut.  James Dean added a few of his own lyrics to the “Wheels on the Bus” song, which Isabelle also seemed to enjoy.  For instance, there’s a page that reads:

The kitties on the bus say, “Come on, Pete!

Come on, Pete!

Come on, Pete!”

The kitties on the bus say,

“Come on, Pete!”

all day long.

Another new verse is Isabelle likes is:

The cats on the bus shout,

“Let’s rock out!

Let’s rock out!

Let’s rock out!”

The cats on the bus shout,

“Let’s rock out!”

all day long.

For this verse we imitate Pete, who is sitting on top of the school bus playing an electric guitar.  I must admit, Isabelle’s imitation is quite cute!

So, thank you, James Dean, for making an old school song fun to sing again!

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17 thoughts on “This book makes hand gestures fun!

  1. I miss those reading on the couch together times. I do love the art of Pete the Cat–it’s a book my son would have loved. Isabel might like Take Me Out of the Bathtub and Other Silly Dilly Songs by Alan Katz. A little tricky to sing some of the poems, still fun to share.

  2. You’ve got to love when they hand you the book to read to them. Love. And Pete is perfectly engaging and re-readable, too! I also love the story of your blog name . . . I too made the decision to stay home and love that I can bring a love of reading to my two girls.

  3. My 4yo LOVES Pete the Cat, and we haven’t read this one! We will now! I’m guessing her 1yo brother, who is currently obsessed with “Wheels on the Bus” will love it too 🙂

  4. Didn’t know there was a new Pete The Cat book-awesome! And love hearing those Isabelle stories, Stacey. The bright colors and Pete’s silly antics do entertain. I think the only ‘old’ song that Ingrid knows is “I’m A Little Teapot”. But she likes the repeating songs and certainly now creates her own. Silly time!

  5. LOVE this post! I too LOVE Pete the Cat …While I am sure that my husband may not agree, you should link all these posts to Amazon…then it would facilitate my ordering…as it is I have to go there, find the book and then hit click!
    PS REALLY thank you for ALL the wonderful book ideas for teaching, sharing and giving!

  6. I love the way Pete the Cat brings singing and reading together. The hand gestures are like TPR (total physical response) that we use in world language classrooms.

  7. We love Pete at my house too! He has a way of capturing the heart of a little one that is very special. Thanks for sharing today…I didn’t know this book was out yet. Guess I better hit the book store!

  8. Ooh, I LOVE Pete the Cat! I had never heard of those books until the Dublin Lit. Conference last year, when the author & illustrator kicked off the conference by reading the one about shoes… complete with making us all say the repeated lines (“Did Pete cry? Goodness NO!) and sing along to the song (“I love my white shoes, I love my white shoes”)! Absolutely delightful! (We got to preview the then-new book about buttons too!)

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