Pictures come alive to the gentle sounds of nature in Polly Wolly Willy Woggle, an animated ebook of rhymes for young children first published as Mother Nature Rhymes. Written and illustrated by D. B. Johnson, author of nine picture books, including the NY Times Bestseller Henry Hikes to Fitchburg (Houghton Mifflin, 2000), Polly Wolly Willy Woggle adds the sound of birds and bees and rustling leaves to its "gentle animations." A page turn to a muskrat sitting beside a brook brings the sound of rippling water and birds singing in the distance. After ten seconds, the picture animates: the fishing line begins to swing in the breeze and the muskrat blinks, hardly noticing the fish darting between the rocks in the water at his feet. Perhaps he's distracted by the butterfly floating past. Johnson intentionally delays the start of each animation to give the rhymes "reading space" and to deliver a restful rhythm for bedtime reading. The sounds are real—crickets chirp, a barred owl hoots, a robin sings—and the unhurried action matches the whimsy of the rhymes: a sly fox sinks up to his chin in the mud left behind when he sells all the water in his pond. There may be a lesson here, but Johnson has kept it hidden away, as secret as the identity of Mother Nature.
A sample rhyme from the book:
“Polly wolly willy woggle
Thought he was a Bully Froggle,
Sitting in a lily boggle
Catching flies and looking goggle,
Feeling very happy hoggle,
Fell asleep and dropped his noggle
In the chilly solly moggle.
Now he's feeling water loggle,
Silly polly willy woggle.”
Each of the 15 rhymes included in this book has a clickable annotation with the original text from Thoreau’s writing that was the inspiration for the rhyme, which makes it great for classroom fun or learning!
Books from my D.B. Johnson's “Henry” series (ie. Henry Hikes to Fitchburg) have been used in classrooms across the world from preschool up to the college level (!) to introduce the philosophy and writing of Henry David Thoreau.
Project it on a white board, view it on a tablet or phone, let it read to you, or take some precious time with a child to read it to them yourself.
This book has 45 “5 star” ratings on the Apple iBookstore.
Here is a sample review from the Apple iBookstore:
by RobinOregon - Sep 8, 2013
“This is what an animated ebook should look like! *****
I’ve purchased a number of e-picture books. Usually, you just swipe pages, which is cool, but a child with a device tends to expect a bit more these days, right? But on the other hand, many ebooks for kids are so overloaded with animations, squeeks, burps, and *surprises* that the story is lost to the reader. He or she gets caught up in the overblown interactive stuff. Mother Nature Rhymes is the perfect combination of book and animation, in my opinion anyway. D.B. gives the reader fun and whimsical poems about nature with easy-going and often hilarious animations and gentle sound for each illustration. There is ample time to read the poem first before an animation begins. Once you’ve read one poem, you will gleefully read the next and then anticipate the animation that follows. It’s an ebook that kids will want to revisit over and over, as any good picture book should be. Even Henry makes a couple of appearances for his fans.”
*Please note: This book was formerly published with the title “Mother Nature Rhymes” on the Apple iBookstore. Since then, D.B. Johnson has made these updates:
*annotations with the original prose from Henry’s writing (in a popup window that is hidden and unobtrusive)
*an optional narration feature
*and renamed the book Polly Wolly Willy Woggle and Other Rhymes from Walden.
To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 3 or later and iOS 4.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OSX 10.9 or later.
Tell your friends and family! Download it for your class, or any other special children in your life.
And be sure to visit D.B. at www.dbjohnsonart.com