From the Publisher
"Based on the beloved nursery song, this charming romp presents various ideas for what the Grand Old Duke of York's 10,000 men do "when they are up," down, and in between...will make an active storyhour even more fun."
-- School Library Journal
"Using a classic nursery rhyme that follows the undisciplined movements of a grand old Duke of York and his army of 10,000 men as their starting point, the husband-wife team of Maggee Spicer and Richard Thompson have come up with a romping tale of improvisation that will have young readers fashioning playful verses of their own."
-- Orlando Sentinel
"...a romping tale of improvisation that will have young readers fashioning playful verses of their own...A world of possibilities awaits a playful mind and an imaginative artist, who all rise to the task admirably."
-- Register-Guard (Eugene, OR) and Sunday Telegram (Boston, MA)
"...a lovely fresh take on the nursery rhyme about the grand old Duke of York. Vancouver artist Kirsti Anne Wakelin does a stunning job of bringing the Duke's soldiers to life. The most telling thing I can say about this book is that after it had been in our house for two days, I had already read (or sung) it aloud 47 times"
-- Vancouver Sun
The traditional nursery rhyme about the Grand old Duke of York and his ten thousand men is the base on which the authors have built adventures in verse, filled with silly nonsense. "And when they are up they knit scarves./And when they are down they knit socks./And when they are only halfway up./They knit overcoats for rocks." These ridiculous notions every page or two leave plenty of room for the illustrator's imagination. She creates ornately uniformed soldiers in big black hats with faces right off traditional playing cards. All manner of things appear in the double-page scenes: a big brown bear, a festive board overloaded with food, flock of white doves, all painted in bright, intense colors. More assorted items are depicted in borders down one or both sides of the pages, in colored washes. The visuals supply a good part of the fun. The music and all the verses are included at the end, followed by the authors and illustrator appearing as the King and Queen of Hearts and the Queen of Spades. 2004, Fitzhenry & Whiteside, Ages 6 to 8.
Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3-Based on the beloved nursery song, this charming romp presents various ideas for what the Grand Old Duke of York's 10,000 men do "when they are up," down, and in between. The verses are silly: "And when they are up they knit scarves./And when they are down they knit socks./And when they are only halfway up,/They knit overcoats for rocks." They also "wrestle with grizzly bears" and "catch armadillos in bags." At one point, the narrator informs readers that "my brother has gone to be one of his men,/And my mom is awfully sad," but by book's end, the troops are having so much fun that his mother decides to join up. The illustrations show red-coated soldiers who resemble the characters on playing cards. Side panels on each spread feature elements based on the verse. For example, "When they are up they tell lies" shows a soldier with a fishing rod framed by images of a beautiful fish. The theme is carried to the cover, where the border resembles a pattern found on standard playing cards. The music and lyrics are appended. This merry book will make an active storyhour even more fun.-Bina Williams, Bridgeport Public Library, CT Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.