Cheese

( 3 )

Overview

Why the cheese stand alone?

In this hilarious riff on the favorite nursery rhyme "The Farmer in the Dell," readers will discover what really happened to that hunk of cheddar.

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Overview

Why the cheese stand alone?

In this hilarious riff on the favorite nursery rhyme "The Farmer in the Dell," readers will discover what really happened to that hunk of cheddar.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

The Bulletin for the Center for Children's Books
“An amusing riff on a nursery favorite.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“An amusing riff on a nursery favorite.”
ALA Booklist
“Palatini’s uproarious spoof…will be a read-aloud hit.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"An amusing riff on a nursery favorite."
Publishers Weekly

With a hi-ho the dairy-o, Palatini (the Bad Boys series) tells the story of just how tempting it is to abandon the "Rules and Regulations" that state "the cheese stands alone" in the dell. Like the familiar song on which the story is based, the narrative introduces the characters one by one—the "scurrying and sneaking" rat, the finicky cat, the dog for whom thinking is "not an easy thing," and a girl and her farmer parents—all of whom eventually decide to ignore the rules. With yet another artistic style, Johnson and Fancher (The Day Ocean Came to Visit) pump up the humor as they cleverly combine cartoon layouts, full-bleed paintings, speech bubbles and textured backgrounds with actual lyrics and music staffs strewn between blades of grass and bits of clothing. The rat in his green checked vest rubs his hands with sniveling worry like Uriah Heep. A sidebar gives "THe Cat's EviDencE" for his estimation of the rat's character. The dog, in his baseball cap with his pink tongue hanging out, is as genial and slow-witted as the story makes him out to be. The surprise ending features the rat ostensibly stealing away the cheese as the other characters prepare for their party snack, but the rat says directly to readers, "Shame on you for what you were thinking. I may be a sneaky rat... but I'm still one big party animal." Ages 4-8. (May)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Children's Literature - Mary Hynes-Berry
Marge Palatini has done close to two dozen books that play lively havoc with celebrated fairy tale and nursery rhymes. In this case, the book is a set up as a narrative, beginning with a rat who cannot figure out why a cheese should be left standing alone in the middle of a meadow. As he begins to investigate, a cat confronts him and then a dog takes on the cat. Cleverly Palatini goes from the end to the beginning of the traditional "The Farmer in the Dell" song. As is true for other Palatini stories, the books works best the better one knows the folk tradition that the book is using. This perspective is a bit sophisticated for Pre-K and many kindergartners, but it offers a wonderful opportunity for primary classrooms to explore and literally play with the understory of traditional songs and word plays. Unfortunately, this book that goes from back to front may be the first time many children meet this folk rhyme.
School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 3
A rat living in the dell wonders why the posted rules and regulations state that the cheese stands alone-especially when it is a tasty-looking hunk of cheddar standing uselessly in a meadow. Napkin in hand, he goes to investigate. In this reverse version of "The Farmer in the Dell," the rat is then joined by a cat, a dog, a child, a mother, and finally the farmer father, all of whom initially insist that the cheese must stand alone, and then are persuaded to consider that the rule might actually be a silly one worth challenging. The farmer decides that if they are going to eat the cheese, they might as well make a party out of it, and everyone goes to fetch apples, pears, sausages, milk, and, of course, crackers. The folk-art quality of the illustrations is rich with country colors-barn reds, field greens, and earthy yellows, and the cartoon animals are funny and expressive. A smattering of words and music from the song is worked in effectively on most pages, and the full lyrics are printed on the last page, useful since this book will no doubt be the featured star in a number of sing-alongs.
—Susan MoorheadCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
Asking a question that has no doubt troubled millions of thinking children down through the years-just why should the cheese stand alone?-a rat grabs a napkin and sets off for the big chunk of cheddar that's fenced off down in the dell. On the way, Rat is intercepted by the Cat, the Dog, the Child and her parents, all of whom realize, upon reflection, that it's a silly rule from a silly song. Placing at least as many words into the pictures as Palatini puts into her text, Johnson and Fancher craft a rolling rural setting in which snippets of relevant, low-contrast verbiage fill out the greenery, create patterns on the characters' clothes and are even imprinted on the cheese-which serves as the centerpiece of a general picnic at the end. Verses to "Farmer in the Dell" on the last page, plus an animated reading/interview with the author on the publisher's website, provide bonuses to this genially subversive outing. (Picture book. 6-8)
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“An amusing riff on a nursery favorite.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060526306
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/24/2007
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 775,360
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.75 (w) x 10.87 (h) x 0.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Margie Palatini

Margie Palatini is the author of many outrageously funny books for children, including Piggie Pie!, illustrated by Howard Fine; Moosetache, Mooseltoe, and the Bad Boys series, all illustrated by Henry Cole; The Cheese, illustrated by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher; No Biting, Louise, illustrated by Matthew Reinhart; and Gorgonzola, illustrated by Tim Bowers. She lives with her family in New Jersey.

Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher are an illustration team with more than forty picture books in print. Their work has garnered rave reviews and won awards. Their books include My Many Colored Days, Bebop Express, I Walk at Night, New York's Bravest, The Velveteen Rabbit, and The Salamander Room. They were also concept artists for Pixar's Toy Story and A Bug's Life. They live in California with their son.

Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher are an illustration team with more than forty picture books in print. Their work has garnered rave reviews and won awards. Their books include My Many Colored Days, Bebop Express, I Walk at Night, New York's Bravest, The Velveteen Rabbit, and The Salamander Room. They were also concept artists for Pixar's Toy Story and A Bug's Life. They live in California with their son.

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Customer Reviews

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