cover image She'll Be Comin' Round the Mountain

She'll Be Comin' Round the Mountain

Tom Birdseye. Holiday House, $15.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-8234-1032-3

The Birdseyes extend a popular song's context with an original story about a much-anticipated visit. As in Tom Birdseye's Airmail to the Moon, the characters are hillbilly folk; upon hearing that their dear friend Tootie will soon ``be comin' round the mountain,'' they prepare the youngest members of the clan for her arrival. Prompted by such questions as ``Will Tootie come by train?'' Papa Sweet launches into a choral response: ``She'll drive her old jalopy when she comes (Beep! Beep!).'' As the song progresses, the vision of a kindred spirit to the mountain folk is conjured up: ``She'll be wearing jeans and slop boots,''and ``She'll bring her old pig Clovis''-nay, ``She'll bring all of her farm critters when she comes.'' Most telling of all is the ``Yahoo!'' she'll yell when she arrives. But when a tall redhead pulls up in a sleek car and makes her entrance in heels and evening gloves, everyone wonders if this glamorous woman could really be Tootie-until she utters her signature salutation. Glass's jiggly, bony figures aptly project the rustic, rollicking hoopla of the song; on the other hand, readers should be prepared to expend a lot of energy plowing through the exhaustive, rowdy verses and the multiple yahoos. Ages 3-8. (Sept.)