cover image A Real Nice Clambake

A Real Nice Clambake

Richard Rodgers. Little Brown and Company, $14.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-316-75422-4

Musical comedy aficionados will quickly recognize this spirited Rodgers and Hammerstein tune from Carousel, presented here in picture book form. Westcott's brightly bordered pages, bustling with beachside activity, track the elaborate preparations for the feast, from chowder to lobsters and clams cooked in seaweed on to the blueberry pie and watermelon finale. Throughout a group of multiracial revelers may be seen in the background happily sunbathing, fishing, swimming, playing in the sand, toasting marshmallows, singing around a bonfire--and, of course, eating. Despite the sprightly energy of the cartoony illustrations, however, the transition from lyrics to text is uneasy, and something seems lost in the process. Though slightly dated, the words, when sung, still retain their original color and vigor but make for a stilted read-aloud. Music is included. Ages 4-8. (May)