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News / Life / Clark County Life

Check It Out: Picture books for children to wiggle into

By Jan Johnston
Published: August 5, 2023, 6:00am

Aug. 6 is National Wiggle Your Toes Day. Funny story.

The other evening, I was feeling kind of wiggly myself, and then I thought, “Why am I wiggly? Oh my gosh, is this restless leg syndrome?” The down side to aging is constantly wondering if a behavior is normal or the sign of something else going wrong with the body and/or brain. Yeah, maybe this story isn’t that funny.

Kids, on the other hand, are supposed to be wiggly, and trust me, it’s a lot easier to wiggle your toes when you’re 5 than when you’re on the north side of 50. Just as you might expect, there are picture books about this very thing. I came across some titles that will make kids laugh and parents happy, and there really isn’t anything better than that.

May your toes wiggle … in the best way!

  • “Good Night, Wiggly Toes” written by Roda Ahmed and Leandra Rose, illustrated by Fanny Liem.

Sometimes the wiggles happen right when you’re supposed to go to bed. This charming picture book lets little ones know that being wiggly is perfectly normal, but there are ways to calm the wigglies so that the body can get some rest.

  • “Paddle Perch Climb: Bird Feet are Neat” written and illustrated by Laurie Ellen Angus.

Now, I don’t know if birds ever get wiggly feet, but I do know that bird feet are neat. And that’s exactly what Laurie Ellen Angus proves in this delightful introduction to avian tootsies.

  • “Sandy Feet! Whose Feet?: Footprints at the Shore” written by Susan Wood, illustrated by Steliyana Doneva.

You know what else is neat about feet? They leave footprints! The beach is a perfect place to leave footprints and find footprints, and through rhyming text and sweet illustrations, readers can follow along with a family as they discover a variety of wildlife tracks.

  • “Wade’s Wiggly Antlers” written by Louise Bradford, illustrated by Christine Battuz.

This fun picture book isn’t about wiggly toes, but I had to include it because who doesn’t want to read about wiggly antlers? In this story, a young moose is pretty worried when his antlers become wiggly. His mom reassures him that this is a natural process, but it’s still unsettling. Little ones of the human variety can relate because baby teeth get wiggly, and everything works out in the end. I have to wonder — does the tooth fairy know the antler fairy?

  • “Who Has Wiggle-Waggle Toes?” written by Vicky Shiefman, illustrated by Francesca Chessa.

When I was a little girl, I was a huge fan of interactive songs like “Hokey Pokey” and “Itsy Bitsy Spider” because I could move to the music — awesome! “Who Has Wiggle-Waggle Toes?” is also interactive and a fun way to engage little ones with books and movement. By the way, I give every reader permission to dance while reading. You’re welcome.