Emma Jo's Song

Overview

The Pucketts love music. Everyone in the family plays an instrument and sings?everyone except Emma Jo. But sometimes Emma Jo feels a song bursting to get out. No matter how softly she sings, Rip, the old hound dog, raises a howl, and that gets Emma Jo's brother laughing. Then comes the day of the big Puckett family reunion, and the sounds of fiddles and banjos fill the air. Emma Jo's brother suggests that she get up and sing "This Little Light of Mine." Emma Jo opens her mouth?and lets out a quivering squeak. But...

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Overview

The Pucketts love music. Everyone in the family plays an instrument and sings—everyone except Emma Jo. But sometimes Emma Jo feels a song bursting to get out. No matter how softly she sings, Rip, the old hound dog, raises a howl, and that gets Emma Jo's brother laughing. Then comes the day of the big Puckett family reunion, and the sounds of fiddles and banjos fill the air. Emma Jo's brother suggests that she get up and sing "This Little Light of Mine." Emma Jo opens her mouth—and lets out a quivering squeak. But all ends triumphantly when she gets a little help from a friend. Faye Gibbons's warm and funny story, featuring a spirited girl and her endearing dog, is zestfully illustrated by Sherry Meidell.

Emma Jo thinks she is the only nonmusical member of her very musical family, but when she goes to the Puckett family reunion she discovers her gift.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Emma Jo tells us how she finally finds her place in her musical family, at the down-home Puckett family reunion in the Georgia mountains. Everyone seems to play something, but even though she feels a song "bustin' to get out," Emma Jo can't even try without Rip the dog howling along. With all the relatives gathered for a great musical celebration, Emma Jo bravely volunteers to sing, believing that Rip is back home. Only squeaks come out, until Rip suddenly appears, howling away. Fortunately, everyone joins in the song, for laughter and applause, and a happy ending. Meidell's double-page scenes are filled with vibrant colors and folks, and with scenery that seems to be in motion. From the appealing jacket/cover of Emma Jo and Rip, the artist's active line and transparent, almost splotchy colors give a preview of the visual narrative. The people, even the chickens and the horses, all have a personality, and a sort of family resemblance. Although there may be a touch of stereotype, this is overcome by the exuberant, good-natured presentation of the country cousins. 2001, Boyds Mills Press, $15.95. Ages 5 to 8. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-Emma Jo is a little girl with a big problem: in a family full of musical talent, she can't carry a tune. Every time she sings, the family hound howls right along with her. Embarrassed, she bans Rip from the family reunion. There the child is dared to try her voice, and she doesn't have to stand alone for long. The dog has followed along, and soon all of the relatives are singing together. This Appalachian story is thin- readers won't really care about Emma Jo or her large extended family. The pastel illustrations are mediocre. The color is muddy and splotchy, making it difficult to distinguish characters, especially in the crowd of aunts, uncles, and cousins. This musical story falls flat.-Susan Marie Pitard, formerly at Weezie Library for Children, Nantucket Atheneum, MA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781563979354
  • Publisher: Highlights Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/2001
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Faye Gibbons was born in the mountains of northern Georgia where storytelling played a large role in everyday living. She is the author of several books, including the Mountain Wedding series; Night in the Barn; and Hook Moon Night. Ms. Gibbons lives in Deatsville, Alabama, with her husband.

Sherry Meidell lives with her husband and five boys in West Bountiful, Utah. She has illustrated The ABC's of Uniforms and Outfits, written by Barbara Williams, and When Pioneer Wagons Rumbled West by Christine Graham. Just like Emma, Ms. Meidell enjoys singing a song or two.

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