A continuation of the classic nursery rhyme “Hey Diddle Diddle.” The dish and the spoon have run away, so what happens next?
Staying close to the original tune (some verses take practice), Rhatigan postulates how the nursery rhyme might carry on. The usual suspects—the cat and the fiddle, the cow and the moon, et al.—show up in the illustrations but do not appear in the text again after the original stanza. Instead, nonsense and wordplay abound. There are a fish and a noodle trying to climb a tree and a joyful elephant that dances on the highest limb. Each verse begins with the obligatory “Hey,” followed by a silly, repeating word: “Hey ladle ladle, / the giraffe in a cradle, / cried for some soup and cheese. // A large sippy cup told him to hush, / and then launched into space with a sneeze.” Amid the grumpy trees, grinning hot dogs, and other (slightly creepy) anthropomorphized objects, the only two human children are white. A simultaneously publishing companion, The Itsy Bitsy Spider, does actually follow the spider through the song’s extension, but the scansion is more difficult to sustain, and the spider’s day is a bit dull.
A jumping-off point for educators to encourage children to think beyond the original text. (Picture book. 3-6)