Fiddle-I-Fee

Fiddle-I-Fee

by Will Hillenbrand
     
 


The farmer and his wife are so intent on preparing for the birth of their baby, they don't notice that their animals are acting a little . . . unusual. During the day, the animals moo and quack and neigh as always. But at night, when the farmer and his wife sleep, the animals gather in the barn to work on a big surprise--a musical treat to welcome the new…  See more details below

Overview


The farmer and his wife are so intent on preparing for the birth of their baby, they don't notice that their animals are acting a little . . . unusual. During the day, the animals moo and quack and neigh as always. But at night, when the farmer and his wife sleep, the animals gather in the barn to work on a big surprise--a musical treat to welcome the new baby!
Will Hillenbrand brings to this traditional song the imaginative touch that made his Down by the Station a shining success. He has created a world filled with the magic of nighttime--and an exuberant celebration of the joy of a newborn. Sheet music for the song is featured with the text.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Hillenbrand (Counting Crocodiles) gives a new angle to a favorite farmyard folk song in this jaunty adaptation. The cumulative lyrics begin, "I had a cat. My cat pleased me. I fed my cat under yonder tree. My cat plays fiddle-i-fee." Subsequent verses feature a duck, goose, hen, pig, cow and so on, introducing the various barn-dwellers and the musical sounds each can play. But as the animals prepare for a jam session, a human family (an obviously pregnant young woman and hard-working young farmer) prepare for another special event: the arrival of their baby. Hillenbrand's mixed-media illustrations depict a warm, bucolic life as it changes month to month and season to season. Scenes of scampering animals and the busy couple (shown knitting, quilting, chopping wood, etc.) employ a wide array of tones, from bold and crisp to soft and smoky. Most spreads contain hints of what comes next in the song and in the chain of events creating a pleasant guessing game for young readers. Ages 3-7. (Apr.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
The traditional song is given a new pictorial story line along with the reason for the animals playing these musical instruments. They are learning to play for the new baby that the farmer and his wife are expecting. What a charming scene of the family cuddled inside as the animals play their lullabye outside. Children will learn about the change of seasons as each verse features a different month. From fall to spring, we see the farmer and his wife at their chores. Young readers will identify the month from clues in the pictures: a pumpkin for October, snow and wreaths for December, a tap in the maple tree for February, and so forth. There are wonderful details in the illustrations. An object, usually a toy, denotes what animal will be the topic of the next verse. An audience of mice listens from the rafters of the barn as the animals practice on their instruments. There is a delightful sense of play and movement in these sequences. The palette appropriately changes hues from morning to night. The tune and the verses are presented in the front of the book.
—Sharon Salluzzo
School Library Journal
The chorus of farm animals grows as the farmer and his wife go through the seasons until the arrival of their baby, the last one to be heard "under yonder tree." Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Hillenbrand (Look Out, Jack! The Giant Is Back, 2001, etc.) offers a fresh perspective on the familiar nursery rhyme and folk song about a farmer's pack of pleasing critters. The cast of characters remains true to the traditional rhyme, with the usual assortment of farm animals all taking a turn playing a tune after being fed under the tree. The final stanza, describing the arrival of the farmer's baby, functions not only as the culmination of the poem, but also is a revelation of the animal's true purpose. Hillenbrand's lively, eye-catching illustrations complete the tale, adding new layers of meaning to the text. Each stanza is separated into two parts and accompanied by a two-page spread. The description of the animal and its mealtime comprises the daytime illustrations. Tucked into each illustration is a toy animal, indicating the next critter to be fed and hinting at the farmer's imminent arrival. Alternating with the daytime pictures are the evening illustrations, depicting the animal's musical endeavors. Each new creature is added to the cavalcade of critters-creating a rumba line of animal musicians in the old barn. Their raucous hoedown reaches a crescendo when the animals serenade the farmer's newborn under the gleam of the full moon. Toe-tapping fun. (musical score) (Picture book. 3-7)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780152019457
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
04/28/2002
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
40
Product dimensions:
11.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)
Age Range:
3 Years

Meet the Author


WILL HILLENBRAND has written and illustrated many award-winning picture books, including The House That Drac Built by Judy Sierra and his own Down by the Station. He lives in Terrace Park, Ohio.

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