cover image SAILOR BOY JIG


Margaret Wise Brown, , illus. by Dan Andreasen. . S&S/ McElderry, $16 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-689-83348-9

This slim, posthumously published rhyme occasions lighthearted oil paintings from Andreasen (By the Dawn's Early Light), who trades his customarily solemn, realistic style for something closer to cartoon. Giving new meaning to the phrase "sea dog," the main character is portrayed by Andreasen as a fully bipedal, chunky blue dog wearing sailor shirt and cap. Spending the day at sea, he enacts Brown's simple rhyme: "With a yo ho ho/ and a bucket of fun,/ here comes a sailor—/ the jig has begun." The "jig" centers around crescendos and decrescendos, e.g., "Dance Big/ dance little/ [here the type shrinks several point sizes] dance little/ Dance Big." Eventually readers are tapped: "Now you are a sailor dancing a jig." Andreasen renders the main action in velvety, marine-hued oils and large rounded shapes; in the background, grinning suns and smiling buoys confer a nostalgic touch. Diminutive navy-blue line drawings in the margins show the dog's dance moves. In addition to his jigging, the pup is a skilled multi-tasker—as he steps and jumps, he also hooks a cheerful, plump fish and adopts it for a pet, then feeds it dinner. The pup's presence and charisma fuels the modest text—and issues an invitation to readers to get up and dance. Ages 2-5. (May)