FIDDLE-I-FEE by Will Hillenbrand


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 3 - 7
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Hillenbrand (Look Out, Jack! The Giant Is Back, 2001, etc.) offers a fresh perspective on the familiar nursery rhyme and folk song about a farmer’s pack of pleasing critters. The cast of characters remains true to the traditional rhyme, with the usual assortment of farm animals all taking a turn playing a tune after being fed under the tree. The final stanza, describing the arrival of the farmer’s baby, functions not only as the culmination of the poem, but also is a revelation of the animal’s true purpose. Hillenbrand’s lively, eye-catching illustrations complete the tale, adding new layers of meaning to the text. Each stanza is separated into two parts and accompanied by a two-page spread. The description of the animal and its mealtime comprises the daytime illustrations. Tucked into each illustration is a toy animal, indicating the next critter to be fed and hinting at the farmer’s imminent arrival. Alternating with the daytime pictures are the evening illustrations, depicting the animal’s musical endeavors. Each new creature is added to the cavalcade of critters—creating a rumba line of animal musicians in the old barn. Their raucous hoedown reaches a crescendo when the animals serenade the farmer’s newborn under the gleam of the full moon. Toe-tapping fun. (musical score) (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: April 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-15-201945-6
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Gulliver/Harcourt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 2002


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