Sunshine on My Shoulders (John Denver & Kids Books Series)

Sunshine on My Shoulders (John Denver & Kids Books Series)

4.5 4
by Christopher Canyon, John Denver
In this heartwarming adaptation of one of John Denver's best-loved songs, a girl and her dad bask in the warmth of nature and each other's friendship.


In this heartwarming adaptation of one of John Denver's best-loved songs, a girl and her dad bask in the warmth of nature and each other's friendship.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The lyrics of late pop singer/songwriter Denver live on in this hokey picture-book interpretation of one of his biggest hits, the first of a planned series inspired by his songs. In a biographical note on the final pages, readers learn that Denver wrote "Sunshine" during the Vietnam War as an antidote to the troubles of that time. Striving to reflect that lightness, Canyon (The Tree in the Ancient Forest) offers summery, greeting-card watercolors of a girl, along with her guitar-strumming father and often-anthropomorphic cat, enjoying fairly stereotypical outdoor pleasures. For example, he pictures the girl blissfully posed on a swing in mid-air, a huge (and oddly low) sun in the background ("Sunshine almost always makes me high"); meanwhile, on a tree branch above, a bird feeds her young in their nest. Unfortunately, the characters look more saccharine than sweet, given their sunburst eyelashes and perma-grins. A printed score and a CD recording of Denver singing the title tune as well as "The Music Is You," is included. All ages. (Sept.) FYI: A paperback edition, which does not include the CD, is set for simultaneous publication ($8.95 -050-X). Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
The warmth of the sun shines throughout Canyon's vision of the Denver song as it does in the lyrics, as written and sung on the included CD. The text celebrates the beauty of the sunshine and of nature. Canyon extends the joy by picturing an appealing young girl experiencing the pleasure along with her cat and a guitar-playing adult with whom she shares a loving relationship. The artist concentrates on nature, bugs and flowers, plants and water. They provide the theme with sufficient variations to keep us involved through the minimal words as the pages turn. The naturalistic scenes are suffused with light and dominated by the smiling, fuzzy-haired child with accompanying adult and charming kitten. Canyon's sunny world beams its message of happy possibilities. Notes on the musician and the artist are added, as is the score of the music. This is a "Sharing Nature with Children" book. 2003, Dawn Publications, Ages 3 to 8.
— Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Children's Literature - Sharon Salluzzo
This little flower child seems just the right person to present the words to this popular song. Bright yellows, daisies and sunflowers, and happy critters celebrate nature. On the page with, "If I had a wish that I could wish for you," the little girl is blowing the seeds off a dandelion. She joins her guitar playing dad in both song and a boat ride. This is light and happy with many natural touches: cattails, ants, and even a musical grasshopper. This title is part of the "Simply Nature" series and includes a variety of perspectives. The shadows on the first double-page spread are particularly interesting. Unlike the hardcover edition, this board book does not include the John Denver recording. The larger 6.5 x 7.5 inch size adds weight to this edition and makes it heftier than most board books.

Product Details

Dawn Publications
Publication date:
John Denver & Kids Book Series
Edition description:
With CD and Score
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
9.84(w) x 11.06(h) x 0.41(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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Sunshine on My Shoulders (John Denver & Kids Books Series) 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was pregnant back in Oct of 2004 and I was listening to this song and a thought popped in my head .... Sunshine, that is what I will name my baby if I have a girl. Sunshine was born on 6/1/2005 and she loves this song as she heard it from day one. She knows the lyrics and it is our special song. Great book too!
Guest More than 1 year ago
When I was pregnant with our third child, my husband bought this book for her. It was so fitting as we called her our little sunshine. The lyrics are very beautiful as is she and the illustrations inspired the decor of her nursery. It is a wonderful addition to any little person's library!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I still haven't figured out if this book is really for me or my children. I remember this song well from my childhood and now, along with beautiful illustrations, my kids will be able to remember it from their childhoods. I think John would be proud to see his lyrics laid out with the pictures. It also comes with the cd but if your kids are like mine, they enjoy 'Mommy's' version as they turn the pages. I can't wait for more of his songs to be turned into books.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Wow, a children's book by John Denver after his death. What touching and simple lyrics to set to a children's story. With happy, colorful illustrations that seem to match John's 'era' and connect with the simple and earthy message. As a fan of both John Denver and children's books, I plan on owning the whole collection. Too bad they will never be autographed.