cover image The World Turned Upside Down: An Old Penny Rhyme

The World Turned Upside Down: An Old Penny Rhyme

Marcia Sewall. Atlantic Monthly Press, $0 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-87113-053-2

Sewall has adapted an old rhyme about ""the world turned upside down;/ Watch dog and ox some music make/ while cat rides hog to town./ To see a farmer feed his hog/ is no news;/ But to see a hare run after a dog is strange indeed!'' As the verse proceeds, a goose roasts the cook, a bird takes a shot at a man in a tree, a bear makes plum cakes, a ram spins wool, a hen gathers eggsfrom a lamb, in handsome woodcut illustrations that portray all the shenanigans. Animals or people that are the focus of one page can be found in the background of others, and readers will want to flip back and forth searching for favorite characters. The colors in Sewall's folksy pictures range from the warm terra-cotta of the pots in a shed to pastoral meadow greens, colonial blues and vivid lilacs. With an ox playing saxophone, children scampering across lawns, and blue hens cackling over eggs, this is a lively, engaging work. (3-8)