An old rhyme gets a face-lift in this Americana-inspired picture book. As a boy feeds the livestock on his farm he introduces each animal and its particular sound. The cumulative sing-song verse is galvanized by animal utterances, while other onomatopoetic words further enhance its toe-tapping rhythm. The cast of critters lines up on the final spreads as a memory/guessing game for readers. Manson's folk-artish woodcuts, painted with earthy-toned watercolors, suggest the down-home flavor of America's heartland during the last century. And airy, pastel-toned stencils bordering the pages add to the old-time flavor by calling to mind Amish and colonial designs. Youngsters new to animal identification may be confused by some lines in the text (the cat goes ``fiddle-i-fee'' instead of ``meow,'' for instance, while the cow more typically emits a ``moo moo''), but should enjoy the book's bouncy beat nonetheless. A more whimsical adaptation of this verse, geared to the very young, is Melissa Sweet's recent Fiddle-I-Fee , which also includes a musical arrangement. Ages 4-6. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/01/1970 Release date: 07/01/1945 Genre: Children's
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