Revisiting a folk music classic, this delightfully illustrated picture book has inspired laughter from children and adults alike for hundreds of years. This wonderfully tall tale recounts the story of a legendary ram, so big his horns "reach up to the moon," whose wool on his belly sold for 40,000 pounds, and "every foot he had, sir, took an acre of land." This latest telling includes a link to a free mp3 download featuring two versions of the song, one with a singer and the other with an accompaniment...
Revisiting a folk music classic, this delightfully illustrated picture book has inspired laughter from children and adults alike for hundreds of years. This wonderfully tall tale recounts the story of a legendary ram, so big his horns "reach up to the moon," whose wool on his belly sold for 40,000 pounds, and "every foot he had, sir, took an acre of land." This latest telling includes a link to a free mp3 download featuring two versions of the song, one with a singer and the other with an accompaniment for singing along.
The Derby Ram is an adaption of a folksong believed to be originally sung in Derby, England. Different stories are associated with the folksong in England and now in the United States. The song text recounts the story of a ram that was so big the wool on his back reached into the sky. Because his back reached up so high, eagles built nests there. This book is more appropriate for a music class or even perhaps a piano teacher, as the music score and lyrics are available in the back of the book. While the illustrations are pretty, they give an ethereal effect rather than engaging readers into the text. The suggested age is 4-8; again, this is not a book most parents would just sit down and read to a child. The sing-song is especially distracting for a simple reading. At the end of the book, Feierabend has included a wealth of information regarding "The Derby Ram" that is helpful in understanding why he choose to adapt this folksong. Finally, a free mp3 can be downloaded by following the directions in the book. Reviewer: Debby Willett
- Jeanna Sciarrotta
In the sequel to the German sensation, The Princess Plot, Boie once again shows the struggles of leading a life in the limelight. Newly ordained Princess Jenna cannot seem to do anything right. There are too many rules involved in being a princess and she simply does not fit the mold. Day after day the media finds ways to mock her looks or her weight. It seems as if she can do nothing to please and Jenna has had enough! With the country in shambles and food and supply shortages reported in the news daily, everyone is ready to blame the new government. An annual fete at the von Thunberg's mansion, gives Jenna just the freedom from the ever watchful and critiquing eye of her mother to slip away. With no real purpose or plan in mind, Jenna heads back to the navigator's house (from The Princess Plot) in hopes of finding some refuge. She soon realizes that this is a not so secret get away as she runs into her friend Perry, also trying to escape. The two unlikely companions stumble upon a secret location where food and supplies are being hoarded in order to deprive the people and the two begin to uncover just who the enemy is—and it is not the Rebels as the media would have everyone believe! In The Princess Trap, Boie struggles to find a new adventure for the sometimes one-dimensional character of Princess Jenna. There are too many meaningless characters and plotlines that do not quite fit together to make this a very engaging story. Though readers will root for Jenna and hope that she can get her act together and step into the role that is presented to her, she is flat and forgettable and readers will not be left begging for a third book in the series. Reviewer: Jeanna Sciarrotta
John M. Feierabend is a national leader in the field of early childhood education and currently serves as a professor and chair of the music education division at the Hartt School of the University of Hartford. He is the author of The Book of Echo Songs, The Book of Lullabies, The Book of Tapping and Clapping, and Father Grumble. He lives in West Hartford, Connecticut. Jackie Roche is a children's book illustrator who is a recent graduate of the Hartford Art School at the University of Hartford. She lives in New York City.