Cha Cha Chimps
By Julia Durango
Illustrated by Eleanor Taylor
2006, Simon and Schuster
The little one can't read yet, of course, which means her father and I serve as her sole portal to literary enrichment.
Left to her own devices, she would probably only choose books with Muppets or bits of faux fur on the cover. But since we're the ones who have to actually recite this stuff aloud, I don't think it's wrong to hide "Sparkly Touchy Feely Fairies" behind the diaper pail, and stock the bedtime rotation with more rewarding fare.
Which, ahem, does not mean our choices are always quite grown-up, either.
Take "Cha Cha Chimps."
OK, don't take our copy. Eventually we'll return it to the shelves of our city's public library, so other toddlers can enjoy it too.
But we still have a few days left on the most recent renewal of this jazzy counting rhyme, about a group of chimpanzees who sneak out to a late-night dance club.
And for now we're still smitten -- embarassingly, hopelessly, ridiculously hooked on the indelible rhythm of its refrain, the kind that sometimes escapes accidentally while I'm, say, waiting in a long line at Trader Joes:
to a funky Latin beat.
His body shimmy-shimmies
from his whiskers to his feet.
3 little chimps do the