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Sunshine on My Shoulders

Sunshine on My Shoulders

5.0 3
by John Denver, Christopher Canyon (Illustrator)

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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:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.56(w) x 10.19(h) x 0.11(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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Sunshine on My Shoulders 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
We love it. Good for all ages.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great childrens book to read too.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
We just discovered this book while on vacation. My 3 year old son brought the book to me to read from his cousin's book shelf while we were visiting family. Being almost 40, I instantly smiled when I realized it was this classic John Denver song. About half way through singing him the lyrics, I realized my sweet little boy had tears streaming down his face...he was simply over-come with the emotion of the lyrics, illustrations and melody. He would not let me stop, but was sobbing through it. It was an absolutely beautiful moment that I shared with my little boy. At bedtime later that night, he insisted I read this book to him again, and he again broke down into gentle tears as I hugged him close before he cuddled up and fell fast asleep. We leave in 2 days, and I am ordering this book now to make sure it is waiting for us when we get home.