cover image Howdi Do [With CD]

Howdi Do [With CD]

Woody Guthrie. Candlewick Press (MA), $12.99 (24pp) ISBN 978-0-7636-0768-5

Radunsky, illustrator of An Edward Lear Alphabet, turns his attention to an American nonsense lyric by folksinger Guthrie. In this infectiously friendly song, a bubbly canine narrator says hello to literally everyone: ""On my sidewalk on my street,/ Everybody that I meet,/ I will shake them by the hand, howdi do, howdi do./ Yes, I'll shake it up and down, howdi do."" The bright yellow, blue-eared hound appears in every spread (once with an acoustic guitar), extending a paw to adults and children, cats and dogs. Waving and smiling, some pushing baby carriages, all dance to the playful, repeated chorus that is Guthrie's piece de resistance: ""Howjee, heejee, hijee, hojee,/ Howdi do, sir, doodle-doo./ Howdi doosle, doodle-doozie,/ Howdi do, howdi do...."" Oversize, sans-serif type makes word recognition a snap, although speaking the tongue twisters may require a bit of gleeful practice. Radunsky's gouache-and-collage illustrations have grown looser since Yucka Drucka Droni: amorphous cutout shapes and streaks of paint serve as the characters' facial features and clothes; the yellow dog has a black daub of a nose; and colorful rectangles or white space suggest the sidewalk setting, so that the meeters and greeters often seem suspended in midair. Radunsky's slapdash silliness and Guthrie's neighborly salutations are irresistible. Ages 2-5. (Apr.)