Appendages. Feelers. More specifically, fingers. Who knew how much they do? “Fingers that hug a teddy bear. Fingers that blow a kiss.” The list of things fingers can do unfolds on the pages of this book. “Fingers that can touch a foot. Fingers that say goodbye if we’re leaving.” Active fingers do many useful things in a day, and they also play. This book depicts twenty-eight things that people do with their busy fingers, described in simple sentences: “Fingers that push a truck. Fingers that count. Fingers that pet a dog.”
C.W. Bowie is a pen name for the three authors who collaborated on this book. Wendie Old, a long-time children’s librarian, has written many biographies for young readers (including the acclaimed To Fly: The Story of the Wright Brothers) as well as several children’s picture books. Mary Bowman-Kruhm has authored more than thirty books for children and teens. She collaborated with Claudine Wirths on many nonfiction educational texts that advise teens on subjects like how to get organized or get up in the morning.
Laboriosos deditos de las manos was originally published in English as Busy Fingers, a companion to 1999′s Busy Toes by the same trio. The translator has provided Spanish versions of children’s classics such as Amelia Bedelia and Curious George books, and works by Dr. Seuss. Her translations have been praised for maintaining the original authors’ rhythms and humor. Here, the Spanish is a nearly perfect counterpart to the English, laid out on opposing pages.
Beautiful pastel illustrations that enhance fingers’ activities make this an appealing book to look at. The pastels are amazing in their depiction of children playing with their fingers. The expressions on their faces are clear; even the texture of their skin and the twinkle in their eyes are present on the pages. The focus and concentration are evident on the face of a little boy in a red T-shirt who uses his fingers to take the spider up the water spout. The illustrator, who holds a degree in visual communication from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, does a superb job with the illustrations.
Written for an audience of preschoolers and families, this book is enjoyable to read. The content will inspire parents to talk with their children about the great variety of things that people can do with their fingers.