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DEAR OLD DONEGAL by Steve Graham


by Steve Graham & illustrated by John O’Brien

Pub Date: Feb. 20th, 1996
ISBN: 0-395-68187-1
Publisher: Clarion

A flat, unimaginative book based on a tune made popular by Bing Crosby and best known for its chorus of rhyming Irish names: ``Meet Branigan, Fannigan, Milligan, Gilligan, Duffy, McCuffy,'' etc. O'Brien (The Twelve Days of Christmas, 1993, not reviewed, etc.) follows a lad out of Cork who rises from street-singing urchin (where improbably, a woman drops dollars in his box) to concert hall tenor with his name up in lights. Rags to riches appears to be so rapid (taking place in one spread) that when the singer, still a young man, returns to ``dear old Erin's isle,'' the elaborate reintroduction is hardly necessary; he's a little larger and in long pants, but to the picture book audience, it won't seem as if he's been away very long. He's welcomed back with an endless parade of colleens, ``jauntin' cars,'' pipers, flag-wavers, and dancers. The smiling cartoon people look uniformly glassy-eyed; soon the celebration wears thin and the homecoming loses its vigor. The full song appears on the endpapers. (Picture book. 5-8)