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I'S THE B'Y by Lauren Soloy


The Beloved Folk Song

illustrated by Lauren Soloy

Pub Date: May 31st, 2022
ISBN: 978-1-77164-833-2
Publisher: Greystone Kids

Clap your hands and dance along to a traditional Newfoundland folk melody.

Newfoundlanders, along with diverse creatures, happily join their hands, hoofs, fins, and feathers for a traditional and much-loved folk song/dance. After the boy, or b’y, catches fish, he brings them home to Liza as a guitar-strumming player and an accordionist are joined on stage by two more musicians—a fish and a moose. The villagers, human and animal, form circles and dance to the lively beat. All then enjoy a hearty meal as the catch is laid out to preserve and dry. A cheerful refrain accompanies the dancers, who now form a big circle as puffins frolic in the air and on the rocks. The setting then moves to the shoreline, and twilight brings a joyful conclusion to the day’s festivities. A note from the illustrator provides an explanation for the local customs and word usage. The colorful, utterly exuberant illustrations—digitally created, though they have a smudgy, hand-painted feel—are an enticing introduction to the music, which can be found on YouTube for those curious. Swirling text complements the upbeat lyrics that celebrate the Canadian island. The locals vary in skin tone; the titular b’y is brown-skinned. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

An inviting version of a Canadian song that will resonate—and reverberate.

(musical notation) (Picture book. 4-7)