Parents' Guide to

High Five

By Regan McMahon, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 3+

Uneven rhymes make silly hand-slapping contest less fun.

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This silly picture book about a made-up tournament of the made-up sport of the high five may be fun for preschoolers who enjoy slapping animal palms on the page, but the joke gets old fast. The first half of this overlong book gives unnecessary, overlong instructions about how to do a high five, which aren't that funny. And the second half gives an overlong play-by-play of the individual matches involving the human reader vs. specific animals. But they all wind up the same way, so there's no real suspense. And, spoiler alert, the human wins in the end. So how will that pattern stand up to repeated readings?

The most disappointing aspect of High Five is the irregular rhyme and meter. Many of the rhymes are only approximate, like "size" and "five," "face" and "phrase," "wins" and "begin." And the rhythm and meter of each line is not consistent, so the person reading out loud will anticipate a rhythm on a following line but then get tripped up when a word or its syllables don't fit that meter. This makes for a challenging and unsatisfying read-aloud experience for both reader and listener.

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