You will not find those pesky picnic poachers in this rollicking parody of the familiar folk song. Rather an army of aunts in raincoats with black umbrellas gripped firmly and sturdy galoshes on their feet fall in line behind one little girl steadfastly beating her drum. As the rain falls relentlessly, their number grows and they march to town, periodically stopping as the little one fixes her shoe, gazes in a shop window, receives a flower, and picks up her sticks. A thunderous BOOM sends the orderly army scurrying back to the comfort and safety of their neat brick row houses. This delightful romp with its onomatopoeic refrain will have children and their caregivers wanting to get up and march around the room. The double-page illustrations with the dark hues of a stormy day and the portly aunts (their high-stepping chorus line will elicit chuckles) are filled with details to observe. The popular cumulative song has been given a facelift with deft touches of whimsy and a bit of jolly old England. 2003, Boyd Mills Press,
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1-What child hasn't chanted some version of "The Ants Go Marching," always enjoying the delightful repetition of each numbered verse? Well, this time there are no shiny, black insects anywhere in sight-just a band of high-steppin' ladies who parade down the streets to town to the beat of a little girl's drum, as rain sprinkles, pelts, and finally pours down on their raincoats and black umbrellas. The rhyming verses from 1 to 10 are interspersed with a rhythmic rat-a-tat line that lends itself to an increase in volume and intensity until the final "boom" sends the women fleeing to get out of the thundering storm. Once safe inside, the undaunted child typically cries, "Let's do it again!" Youngsters will thoroughly enjoy the chance to practice their numbers and to learn this classic childhood song, repeating the in-between chorus line and filling in the end-of-line rhymes. While most of the rhymes work well, occasionally they are somewhat strained, for example "seven/heavens," and a typographical error in verse eight leaves out the word "one" so that the rhythm is disturbed. Still, Manning's clever, full-color spreads are sure to provoke giggles among young listeners, particularly when the rain intensifies and the ever-growing band of racially diverse women has to cope with the rising puddles. The story will surely inspire children to create their own verses and to get up and march about as they sing them.-Nancy Menaldi-Scanlan, LaSalle Academy, Providence, RI Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Manning debuts with a good-humored twist on the traditional counting song. A child and her aunt on a rainy-day trip into town are joined along the way by a growing phalanx of aunts brandishing umbrellas and shopping bags. As the child taps out the rhythm on a snare drum, the aunts--each depicted as a distinct individual and, at least in the outside rows, countable--march purposefully down the street and into shops, then, as thunder rumbles, quick-step back to their row houses beneath a forest of black umbrellas (looking somewhat like those other ants). It�s impossible to read this without singing, and children who hear it will join in enthusiastically. An irresistible story time companion for Jama Kim Rattigan�s Truman�s Aunt Farm (1994). (Picture book. 5-8)