For young readers, here's a lively look at everyday life

By , Special to The Christian Science Monitor

Children love to laugh, rhyme, and read, all at the same time. Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault allow children to do exactly that in Here Are My Hands (Holt, $11.95, ages 1-6). In their fourth picture book, the authors provide the right amount of silliness and sweetness to delight beginning readers. The text is a lively poem that matches body parts with everyday activities: hands for catching and throwing, teeth for chewing and brushing, and a head for thinking and knowing. Children will enjoy playing along with the rhyming lines, touching their hands, teeth, and head, as they chant the words aloud.

Full-color illustrations of active children capture the mood of the lighthearted text. Slight differences in the costumes and features of these children suggest a universality to the activities all children share - bathing, dancing, getting a haircut, and hanging upside down.

Bill Martin's special ability to interest children in reading has been appreciated by educators for years. His books have a natural flow of rhythm, color, humor, and song. The teaching aids he uses are often standard equipment in remedial-reading classes, helping those children who are challenged by reading.

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In recent years, Martin has been teaming up with John Archambault to produce exciting children's literature that is available in bookstores and libraries, as well as for the classroom.

``Here Are My Hands'' is their first book designed for the beginning reader.

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