A favorite children's song becomes a colorful book filled with African wildlife
Also known as "The Green Grass Grew All Around," this popular song has been recorded by artists from Barney to Captain Kangaroo. Now "the prettiest tree that you ever did see" is a lovely acacia tree, where a baby starling is just about to hatch. Rachel Isadora gives children a fun, easy way to follow along with the cumulative lyrics by using rebus icons for the repeated words, as she did with 12 Days of Christmas. Sheet music is also included, making this irresistible fun!
Isadora (Bea at Ballet) brings a traditional cumulative folk song ( And the green grass grew all around, all around... ) to the African savannah. In her version, the hole in the ground is discovered by an African mother and her children; the tree is an acacia sapling growing next to a lion and her cub; and the bird is a superb starling, a beautiful creature with a black face and midnight blue wings who hatches a chick from a speckled egg. Her collages are composed of painted and patterned pieces of paper in vivid greens and hot oranges; outlines and facial features are overlaid in woodblock-like black lines. African textile motifs border the pages, and thumbnail images substitute for key words as the verses build up ( Oh, the chick in the egg, and the on the egg, and the in the nest ), turning the song into an absorbing rebus puzzle. It s also a gentle push toward opening up one s own storytelling tradition to the rest of the world. Musical notation and a rebus key are included, too. Ages 3 5.