'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Sunday 9 May 2010

Review: The Book About Tony Chestnut

Title: The Book About Tony Chestnut

Author: Laurie Monopoli

Illustrator: Wendy Sefcik

Publisher: The Learning Station, US$19.95 RRP

Format: Hardcover with CD

ISBN: 9780615311395

For ages: Preschool to primary school

Type: Picture Book

About: The Tony Chestnut song originated in Canada and the U.S.A. and is making its way across the globe. The words are catchy: ‘Tony Chestnut knows I love you’ sung as kids touch the body parts that make up the play on words – toe, knee, chest, nut (head), nose, I, love (heart), you.


The Book About Tony Chestnut is inspired by this song. It tells the story of Tony and his little sister, Eileen, starting at a new school. Eileen is sad about leaving her friends and so Tony sings her this song to cheer her up. Soon, all the kids are joining in, having a terrific time singing and becoming friends.

Like the song, the story is quite cute, with big, colourful illustrations, but it does lack flow as it tries to integrate with the song. For example, the other characters, Neil, Pat, Bob, Russell and Skip, are introduced right at the end of the song, whereas they could have been a fun addition to the story itself.

The book and the song are a little twee, but they carry a lovely message of facing your fears and making new friends.

Book website

This book is available online