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On the Morn of Mayfest


There once was a lass
with hair like a nest
who walked out in her sleep
on the morn of Mayfest.
And what happens to this lass? She is pursued by a dove, and then a huntsman who fixes on the dove, a mouse who frightens the huntsman, a cat who chases the mouse, and so on—until an entire village is caught up in a spontaneous Mayday parade! Written in a delightfully catchy rhyme,...

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There once was a lass
with hair like a nest
who walked out in her sleep
on the morn of Mayfest.
And what happens to this lass? She is pursued by a dove, and then a huntsman who fixes on the dove, a mouse who frightens the huntsman, a cat who chases the mouse, and so on—until an entire village is caught up in a spontaneous Mayday parade! Written in a delightfully catchy rhyme, this story is a treat to read aloud. Onlookers will love following the merry band of unforgettable characters that grows larger and more ridiculous with every turn of the page.

In this cumulative rhyme, a sleepwalking girl inadvertently starts a parade on the morning of Mayfest.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Silverman Mrs. Peachtree's Bicycle revisits "The House that Jack Built" and makes of it a foundation for a merry olde English rite of spring. "This is the lass/ with hair like a nest/ who walked in her sleep/ on the morn of Mayfest," she begins. Over country roads the waiflike girl, barefoot and in a white nightgown, trails toward the village on the hill, and in her wake collects such amusing characters as a sheepdog "in mad pursuit" who gooses the voluminous laundress "who shouted, `You brute!' '', three jesters "juggling fruit" and a monkey "in tunic and boots". It all culminates in a parade of kisses through the cobblestone streets of the town, where the sleeping girl finally awakens to announce herself Queen of the May. Frazee's The Seven Silly Eaters finely wrought acrylic ink drawings cover the right-hand page; they are lightly handled with slyly endearing details the jesters wear dark glasses; the monkey swings by its tail from a lamppost. Decorated initials dress up most text pages in the pleasing book design. Silverman and Frazee form a happy, uncomplicated collaboration with a festive hint of history. Ages 3-8. May
Children's Literature - Trina Heidt
A sleepwalking young girl wends her way down the path to the village in anticipation of joining in the Mayfest celebration. She is painfully unaware of the amusing characters and antics following in a parade-like procession close behind her. This amusing tale with its humorous medieval-style illustrations takes on the tone of the poem "The House that Jack Built". Each page builds upon the previous to a final crescendo as the girl awakens in the midst of the lively celebration. The repetition makes for a fun and predictable read aloud for youngsters.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2A sleepwalking "lass/with hair like a nest" attracts a dove that gains the attention of a huntsman who is frightened by a mouse that is chased by a cat, etc., as a jolly parade forms and winds its way into the village. There, the girl is awakened when the dove's egg hatches on her head. She declares herself Queen of the May, and Mayfest officially begins. Recounted in rhyme, this cumulative nonsense tale in the style of "The House That Jack Built" holds few surprises, but the acrylic ink illustrations are full of amusing details and jauntily portray an entertaining cast of human and animal characters. Full-page illustrations in which romance blossoms, townsfolk frolic, and animals cavort face the text until the heroine awakes; then there is a full-blown double-page spread of May-time merriment. Some details are perplexing, however, including the juxtaposition of the jugglers' sunglasses in an otherwise medieval-looking village, the huntsman's fear of the mouse that causes him to climb a tree, and then his subsequent carrying of the tree throughout the procession. These quibbles aside, this is a pleasant supplement to spring storytimes but is best enjoyed close-up to fully appreciate the good-natured "May-hem."Carol Ann Wilson, Westfield Memorial Library, NJ
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781442443419
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
  • Publication date: 11/8/2011
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 8.70 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Erica Silverman is the author of several books including Big Pumpkin; When the Chickens Went on Strike, which was a Sydney Taylor Honor book; and Sholom's Treasure, which won the Sydney Taylor Award and was a runner-up for the National Jewish Book Award. Her books have received the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Award, the California Young Reader Medal, ABA Pick of the List, and the first book in her early-reader series Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa won the Theodore Seuss Geisel Honor. She lives in Los Angeles, California. Visit her at

Marla Frazee has illustrated many acclaimed picture books, including God Got a Dog by Cynthia Rylant; Stars by Mary Lyn Ray; All the World by Liz Garton Scanlon, which received a 2010 Caldecott Honor; Everywhere Babies by Susan Meyers; and Harriet, You’ll Drive Me Wild! by Mem Fox; as well as her own Farmer and the Clown; Boot & Shoe; The Boss Baby; Walk On!; Roller Coaster; Santa Claus the World’s Number One Toy Expert; and A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever, which received a 2009 Caldecott Honor. She is also the illustrator of the bestselling Clementine chapter book series by Sara Pennypacker. She lives with her family in Pasadena, California. Visit her at

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