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ONE, TWO, THREE O’LEARY by Malachy Doyle Kirkus Star


by Malachy Doyle & illustrated by Will Hillenbrand

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-689-85513-3
Publisher: McElderry

There’s really no plot here beyond ten small children cavorting in the spirit of “five little monkeys jumping on the bed.” No matter: children abound in brightly colored illustrations that resemble Tomie de Paola’s in palette and facial expressions. Each double-paged spread features one or two irresistible verses that have their origins in traditional ball bouncing, skipping, or counting out verses from the British Isles—“Icker backer, / Soda cracker, / Icker backer boo. / Number two O’Leary— / OUT goes you!” In spite of the high energy, this has a comfortable feel, partly due to the circular plot—each child ends up in the same position in bed as before the entire ruckus. And because the rhymes—or at least their infectious rhythms—are likely to be familiar to a wide range of children, the collection, with plenty to look at on each page, should easily attract children’s attention. (Picture book. 3-7)