cover image Sing


Joe Raposo, illus. by Tom Lichtenheld. Holt/Ottaviano, $19.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-8050-9071-0

The lyrics to the late Raposo’s beloved song, popularized on Sesame Street in the 1970s, form the basis for this picture-book interpretation from Lichtenheld (Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site), in which a small purple bird has difficulty finding its own song. The wordless opening pages show three birds in a nest; the first two chirp musical notes and fly off, but the third can’t muster a sound, its speech bubbles empty. Along comes a boy with a guitar, who strums as the lyrics to the song begin: “Sing,/ Sing a song./ Sing out loud,/ Sing out strong.” As the boy plays and sings, musical notes rise up and literally buoy the bird (and its nest), lifting them aloft until the bird is able to fly and sing for itself, and rejoin its companions. It’s an effective visual metaphor for the way that music can be a form of support. A CD recording of the song is included, as are English and Spanish lyrics and a note from Raposo’s son, Nick. Ages 4–8. Illustrator’s agent: Agent: Amy Rennert, the Amy Rennert Agency. (May)