In 1961, Peter, Paul and Mary made an extremely engaging piece combining the title ditty, a game of hide-and-seek and snatches of nursery rhymes; Davenier takes it a visual step further to make an absolutely engaging picture book.
Fluid colors and vivacious line define the images, which not only show a wonderful old house with a warm kitchen and a fine old stairway, but a huge apple tree outside. Populating this cozy locale are a gaggle of children visiting grandma and grandpa. It’s grandpa who is in bed with an ice pack on his head (“the old man is snoring. / Bumped his head…”) The children, driven indoors by the rain, start a game of hide-and-seek. One moppet climbs into bed next to grandpa and reads to him. Familiar nursery rhymes (“Star light, star bright”; “Hey diddle-diddle”) play out in the pictures with grandpa and moppet as actors. Meanwhile, the barefoot children (all of their shoes are lined up by the stairs) are quietly hiding in the closet, under the table where grandma is peeling apples and even under grandpa’s bed! (That’s where the twins are.) There’s a big old dog and a ginger cat, and the cow who jumped over the moon—at least in grandpa’s and moppet’s imaginations—peeks in the window at “Olly, Olly in free!” And it looks like the sun has come out. A note about the song from the performers, Davenier’s note about being at her grandmother’s with all of her cousins and an enclosed three-song CD round out a near-perfect whole.
The original song with its three-part counterpoint is deliciously imagined on these pages. (Picture book. 4-8)