children, music

The Book About Tony Chestnut

Author: Laurie Monopoli
Illustrator: Wendy Sefcik
Publisher: Hug-a-Chug Books
Genre: Children / Music
ISBN: 978-0-615-31139-5
Pages: 48
Price: $19.95

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Tony Chestnut and his little sister Eileen are the new kids in town. When they arrive at the playground, they find that everyone is already playing. No one notices Tony and Eileen, so they sit on a yellow bench and watch.

When Eileen begins to cry, Tony Chestnut needs to do something quickly. His silly antics don’t stop Eileen’s tears, so he decides to sing his special song.

Tony Chestnut (Toe-Knee-Chest-Nut), the song, was released in 1997, and is a fun dance tune where kids point to various body parts while singing along. The Book About Tony Chestnut is the story of how this award-winning song originated.

A CD accompanies this book, with three read-along versions of the story, discussion questions for the classroom, and the original Tony Chestnut song. The discussion questions center on what it’s like to be the new kid, how to make other kids feel welcome, and being compassionate and kind.

The Book About Tony Chestnut has a great, positive message, while also being upbeat and fun. I highly recommend this delightful interactive teaching tool.

Reviewer: Alice Berger