The World Turned Upside Down

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Sewall has adapted an old rhyme about ``the world turned upside down;/ Watch dog and ox some music make/ while cat rides hog to town./ To see a farmer feed his hog/ is no news;/ But to see a hare run after a dog is strange indeed!'' As the verse proceeds, a goose roasts the cook, a bird takes a shot at a man in a tree, a bear makes plum cakes, a ram spins wool, a hen gathers eggsfrom a lamb, in handsome woodcut illustrations that portray all the shenanigans. Animals or people that are the focus of one page can be found in the background of others, and readers will want to flip back and forth searching for favorite characters. The colors in Sewall's folksy pictures range from the warm terra-cotta of the pots in a shed to pastoral meadow greens, colonial blues and vivid lilacs. With an ox playing saxophone, children scampering across lawns, and blue hens cackling over eggs, this is a lively, engaging work. (3-8)
School Library Journal
PreS-K This retelling of an old ``penny rhyme'' is an odd one, indeed. Nonsensical verses of appallingly uneven meter tell of a series of strange eventsa hare chasing a dog, an ox blowing a horn, a ram knitting a coat, etc. While children may enjoy the silliness, in many cases the words have been forced to fit the rhyme, making for stilted reading. The illustrations lack the sense of joy so necessary to this genre, and in a few cases appear downright sinister, such as a goose preparing to roast a cook. In addition, they do not always portray the verse at handmention is made on the first page of a cat riding a hog, but this is not shown until ten pages later. This is a disappointing effort; better choices would be Dennis Lee's Alligator Pie (Houghton, 1975; o.p.) or Wallace Tripp's Granfa' Grig Had a Pig & Other Rhymes Without Reason from Mother Goose (Little, 1976). Kathleen Brachmann, Highland Park Public Library, Ill.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780871130532
  • Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/28/1986
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Pages: 32

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