Bling Blang

Woody Guthrie, Author, Vladimir Radunsky, Illustrator
Woody Guthrie, Author, Vladimir Radunsky, Illustrator Candlewick Press (MA) $12.99 (24p) ISBN 978-0-7636-0769-2
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As in Howdi Do, Radunsky provides guileless visual accompaniment to the late Guthrie's whimsical lyrics. Howdi's central figure, an enthusiastic yellow dog reappears (along with his striped cat sidekick), in the company of two children. To the words, ""You bring a board and I'll bring a saw,/ And we'll build a house for the baby-o,"" the team assembles a structure out of colorful rectangular shapes. A memorable onomatopoetic refrain sets the workers' methodical but worry-free pace: ""Bling blang,/ Hammer with my hammer,/ Zing-o zang-o,/ Cutting with my saw."" Finally, the dog becomes the ""baby-o"" by sitting in a stroller (and receiving the song's promised kisses). Blocky panelsDcomposed of paper, cloth and photos of old walls with peeling paintDserve as bricks and wood. The characters themselves resemble hinged paper puppets creating a two-dimensional home. An improvisational mood dominates, and it's easy to imagine the singer, illustrator and builders making things up as they play. Loose paintings by real children (subtly altered by the artist) close this lighthearted number, and Radunsky deserves a round of applause for a charmingly loopy rendition of Guthrie's song. Ages 2-5. (Sept.)
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