A dozen children’s songs by a famous Canadian singer-songwriter are here rendered for modern listeners in lively, cheerful arrangements and with illustrated lyrics that invite singing along.
Beyond the familiar title song, this collection features alphabet and counting songs, as well as nursery songs introducing months of the year, travel destinations and musical instruments. PisHier (Pierre Girard) offers illustrations featuring round-headed humans and stylized animals on backgrounds of bright, off-spectrum colors. These are energetic but not as sophisticated as those done by Abner Graboff for two of these pieces in the 1960s. The title song is pictured in its entirety, occupying nine double-page spreads. Each animal appears on the left-hand page and then again opposite, inside the old lady’s guitar-shaped stomach. Others are far more compressed, with lyrics paired to just one or perhaps two illustrations. There are some missteps. Though the words in “Sailing Over the Sea” say the seven sailors are bearded and unshaven, six of the seven depicted have no facial hair. The lyrics for “The Hungry Goat” extend over two spreads. Among the scenes shown on the first is the goat tied to the railroad track; this doesn’t happen in the lyrics until after the page turn. Emilie Clepper and Thomas Hellman perform the songs with attractive close harmony and an interesting variety of instrumental backup.
The illustrations are amusing, but the real reason to purchase the book is for the accompanying CD. (Songbook/picture book. 3-6)