cover image GIDDY-UP! LET'S RIDE!


Flora McDonnell, . . Candlewick, $16.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-7636-1778-3

Riders of all stripes saddle up in McDonnell's (Splash!) distinctive take on a traditional nursery rhyme. "This is the way the drummer rides./ Bang! Bang! BOOM! BOOM!/ This is the way the show jumper rides./ Trrrit-trrrot trrrit-trrrot." The oversize format provides just the right showcase for McDonnell's thickly applied, high-intensity acrylic and gouache illustrations. Set against a backdrop the color of tomato soup, the opening spread shows the little drummer on the back of his big horse. Sitting atop a graceful gelding and prancing on a pristine green, the show jumper on the next spread provides perfect contrast. While McDonnell keeps the focus on horses, she does diversify. Thick legs, sneakered hooves and a suspicious eye-hole hint at animal impersonation at the circus ("This is the way the clown rides./ Bump BUMP bumpetty-BUMP"); later, a rajah rides an elephant decorated with a golden harness, gems and bells. The final spread returns readers to reality: "This is the way the children ride./ Giddy-up! Giddy-up! Let's ride!" The rocking horse, stick pony and elephant pull-toy reveal their imaginative play. Large print makes the repetitive text stand out and the onomatopoeic refrain is handwritten with a flourish. Vibrant and catchy, this blue-ribbon offering will surely get kids into the groove . Ages 2-4. (June)