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The Surrey with the Fringe on Top

The Surrey with the Fringe on Top

by Oscar Hammerstein, James Warhola (Illustrator), Richard Rodgers

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Warhola follows Surrey with the Fringe on Top with this bathetic picture-book adaptation of the memorable song from The Sound of Music . In the opening scene, seven animal friends scamper across a field toward an outsize singing chicken, who uses a beribboned parasol to defend herself from the threat of ``raindrops.'' The fulsome menagerie, which includes a pig, a rabbit, a bear and a turtle, among other zoological types, careens from one high-spirited scene to another, across pages crammed with ``bright copper kettles,'' ``crisp apple strudel'' and all the other ``favorite things'' highlighted in the song. Warhola's workmanlike watercolors don't stint on the sentiment: to illustrate the ``silver white winters that melt into spring,'' for example, he catapults the grinning animals into the sky, positioning them in front of--what else?--a pastel rainbow. Endpapers carry the score. Ages 3-6. (Sept.)
School Library Journal
K Up-Yes, it's a famous and popular tune, even 50 years later. Yes, it's well known, and the lyrics are easy to learn. Yes, lots of people love the musical from which it comes. Nevertheless, there is no excuse for taking a song, changing the context to make it age-appropriate, and turning it into a children's book. The words are here, written in regional dialect. The scene has been changed to that of a young man taking two children for a ride in the surrey. Their progress is shown on the double-page spreads, and also at the bottom of the pages, where a small carriage makes progress along a picture that represents the whole trip. The watercolor illustrations have a lot of life and motion, and the layout is good. The music is included, although split by the text, so that half is at the front, and half at the back. (At least it's not on the endpapers.) This is not a bad book-but it is pointless to take the song out of context to market it for an audience that is too young to appreciate either.-JoAnn Rees, Sunnyvale Public Library, CA

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Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
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