Beach Lane Books, 2009
Ed, Ned, Ted, and Bob are four dust bunnies who love to rhyme, and what could possibly interrupt such fun? Bob sees something that might stop their game in its tracks, but whether the other three will listen to what he is saying remains to be seen.
Rhyming dust bunnies is one of my favourite early-elementary books. The illustrations are big and bright in primary and secondary colours, it encourages crowd involvement with the rhyming (what 4- or 5-year-old can resist the question "what rhymes with cat?"), and the plot is ridiculously simple and cleverly executed. Who would have guessed that a book about dust bunnies avoiding a broom could be so funny? Not I.
Thomas creates wonderful tension with Bob, the dust bunny who can't seem to make a rhyme from even the easiest of words. His three friends certainly let him know that his rhyming is not up to par, even when what Bob is saying is, "LOOK OUT!" The audience knows something is amiss from the beginning, and the fun is waiting to see how long it takes Ed, Ned, and Ted to figure it out.
I can attest from personal experience that young children adore this book. When I read it to the grade Primary class last year, they yelled out rhyming words, laughed at the punchlines, and ultimately enjoyed it so much that they demanded I read it again immediately. So I did, and they relished it as much or more the second time. It is a popular book in the library, as it should be.