On Top of Spaghetti

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Overview


This favorite children's song, belted out around campfires for over forty years, is now a rollicking, sing-along book!

On top of spaghetti, All covered with cheese, I lost my poor meatball, When somebody SNEEZED . . .

This well-known song is a hilarious reminder that when events don't go quite as planned, they can get awfully silly. Paul Brett Johnson's colorful language and folly-filled illustrations are a surefire recipe for a lip-smacking ...

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Overview


This favorite children's song, belted out around campfires for over forty years, is now a rollicking, sing-along book!

On top of spaghetti, All covered with cheese, I lost my poor meatball, When somebody SNEEZED . . .

This well-known song is a hilarious reminder that when events don't go quite as planned, they can get awfully silly. Paul Brett Johnson's colorful language and folly-filled illustrations are a surefire recipe for a lip-smacking storytime. Served up with the original music and lyrics it's sure to bring readers (and singers) of all ages to the table clamoring for more.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Kirkus
Yodeler Jones's Spaghetti Emporium & Musicale is in trouble when the Fried Fritter Fricassee opens next door. He decides to upgrade his menu and creates a beautiful meatball, but his assistant's sneeze blows it out the window. The ensuing meatball chase takes the two through the Piggly Wiggly, past the police station and to the ballpark. The meatball is whacked all the way back to the Emporium & Musicale, but it has turned to mush. Fortunately, the mush grows into a meatball-and-sauce–bearing tree. If the whole story sounds a tad familiar, that's to be expected: Johnson has used Glazer's classic song as a jumping-off point for silly extravaganza. The combination of the familiar refrain and Johnson's bright cartoon illustrations is sure to please young listeners, though the observant among them will likely point out that the meatball does more flying than rolling following the initial sneeze. Music and recipes are included for those who want the full experience. (Picture book. 2-8)

Booklist
PreS–Gr. 2. In this picture-book invitation to a noisy storytime, seasoned author-illustrator Johnson extends songwriter Tom Glazer's classic anthem to spaghetti with an original frame story. When a gimmicky snack shop steals customers from a spaghetti café run by a beagle and mouse, the proprietors set out to concoct “the most dee-licious meatball this side of Sicily.” Johnson's thickly outlined, ebullient acrylics show the delectable creation launched forth by a giant sneeze, ultimately sprouting into a meatball tree that puts the pasta joint back in the black. Lines from the song appear sandwiched between paragraphs of text, and the discontinuous presentation of the familiar lyrics may initially confuse children. But the slapstick, folksy tone of Johnson's contributions–especially the recurring exclamation, “Pardon my meatball!” as the foodstuff ricochets pinball-style around the community–will help to refocus children's attention from singing to listening. This jaunty offering will undoubtedly enter the sing-along rotation, and will have particular savor on days when spaghetti is on the lunch menu. –Jennifer Mattson
SLJ
PreS-Gr 2–Expanding on the popular song, Johnson spins the tale of Yodeler Jones, a hound dog who serves nothing but meatballs and spaghetti at his dining establishment. When business begins to slow, Yodeler concocts a brand-new meatball, but before he can taste it, someone sneezes, setting the song into action with the pooch and his animal pals in pursuit of the flyaway meatball. With original text printed in black and the lyrics sprinkled throughout in color, this story successfully marries the two. The loony illustrations, full of color and movement, effectively capture the zaniness. Pair this book with Judi Barrett's Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (S & S, 1998) and Ryan SanAngelo's Spaghetti Eddie (Boyds Mills, 2002) for a yummy storytime treat.–Lisa Gangemi Kropp, Middle Country Public Library, Centereach, NY

PW
Johnson offers readers a goofy backstory for the popular folk song parody, much along the same lines as his look at another novelty hit, Little Bunny Foo Foo. Here, he posits that the title song is about a struggling canine chef named Yodeler Jones who claims that, ever since the fried fritter fricassee parlor moved next door, "I couldn't haul in a customer with a line and pole." When a mouse assistant sneezes and sends a promising meatball flying, the lyrics of the song start wafting through the pages ("It rolled off the table/ And onto the floor,/ And then my poor meatball/ Rolled out of the door"), while Yodeler's first-person narrative fills in the details of his meatball pursuit. In keeping with the song's lesser-known third and fourth verses (the entire song appears on the final page), the dog's fortune is made when the mushed meatball somehow yields (overnight) a magical tree that produces "the most dee-licious meatba

School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-Expanding on the popular song, Johnson spins the tale of Yodeler Jones, a hound dog who serves nothing but meatballs and spaghetti at his dining establishment. When business begins to slow, Yodeler concocts a brand-new meatball, but before he can taste it, someone sneezes, setting the song into action with the pooch and his animal pals in pursuit of the flyaway meatball. With original text printed in black and the lyrics sprinkled throughout in color, this story successfully marries the two. The loony illustrations, full of color and movement, effectively capture the zaniness. Pair this book with Judi Barrett's Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (S & S, 1998) and Ryan SanAngelo's Spaghetti Eddie (Boyds Mills, 2002) for a yummy storytime treat.-Lisa Gangemi Kropp, Middle Country Public Library, Centereach, NY Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Yodeler Jones's Spaghetti Emporium & Musicale is in trouble when the Fried Fritter Fricassee opens next door. He decides to upgrade his menu and creates a beautiful meatball, but his assistant's sneeze blows it out the window. The ensuing meatball chase takes the two through the Piggly Wiggly, past the police station and to the ballpark. The meatball is whacked all the way back to the Emporium & Musicale, but it has turned to mush. Fortunately, the mush grows into a meatball-and-sauce-bearing tree. If the whole story sounds a tad familiar, that's to be expected: Johnson has used Glazer's classic song as a jumping-off point for silly extravaganza. The combination of the familiar refrain and Johnson's bright cartoon illustrations is sure to please young listeners, though the observant among them will likely point out that the meatball does more flying than rolling following the initial sneeze. Music and recipes are included for those who want the full experience. (Picture book. 2-8)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780439749442
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/1/2006
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.50 (w) x 11.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 7 )
Rating Distribution

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(6)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

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1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2010

    So much fun to read!

    My 3 year old loves this book - and I love to read it to her. It is just plain fun to read. I use my best country accent and we just laugh every time.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 23, 2010

    Funny story with lots of repetition enhanced by singing.

    Sure to appeal to pre-schoolers and beginning readers.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2012

    Highly Recommended

    This is a wonderful book and it brings back memories of singing this song with our children. I am now a Nana now and am having as much fun singing it with our grandsons.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    Fun time with my kids!

    Fun on a rainy day and let's the kids be involved by singing along. Fun!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 29, 2011

    FUN and cool illustrations

    This book is just a lot of fun. My 4.5 year old twins and I have enjoyed sitting and reading it while singing the song. What a fun way to spend time reading together. Beautiful large book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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