Whose Knees Are These by Jabari Asim, illustrated by LeUyen Pham.
Little, Brown, and Company Kids, 2006.
Board book, 20 pages + title & copyright pages.
Whose Knees Are These? follows a set of two knees through a series of playtime adventures while we try to find out whose knees they are. The answer might be surprising!
In my last board book review, I explained that I had accidentally ordered the wrong book by Jabari Asim and LeUyen Pham. This is the ‘boy’ version of Whose Toes are Those? and very similar in most respects.
This is still an #ownvoices board book just like the previous one. It’s very interactive and a great choice for read-aloud playtime. However, Pham’s illustrations are also able to stand alone and tell the child a story if they are flipping through it on their own.
There is a bit of difficulty here in keeping the child hidden while showing his knees, so in some scenes his entire body except a portion of his face is present. One aspect I loved was that there are various animals present throughout the story, so a parent could point those out, or a young child could practice making the appropriate noises for each animal if they aren’t old enough to name them.
This book has several repetitions of right and left that would be great for practicing right and left sides. There was also a portion of text where I just have to laugh:
“I’ve searched the world and seven seas.
Never have I seen such charming knees.” pages 8 and 9
Every time I read that I have a giggle and Baby joins me. As with the previous work by this amazing team, this book is a great read for young children and parents together as it allows room for lots of fun movements and points to stop and learn something. While I’ll never love this as much as, say, The Snowy Day (because of the positive childhood memories that book has associated with it), I could definitely read this one through several times before it starts to wear on me.
Jabari Asim just knows how to write in an engaging and accessible style for parents and children to read together. LeUyen Pham does an excellent job of capturing the right level of contrast in the main image, and subtle details and texture in the backgrounds, to appeal to both a young child and an adult reading aloud.
Really, either book can be read by a boy or a girl. However, we dearly loved the first one, so I was happy to get this second one that is more applicable to Baby since it ends with these knees belonging to you!
This book would make a great gift for baby, and I’d highly recommend it either as a gift or as an addition to your own library for kids 0-4.