Raffi has a wonderful repertoire of music for children. In this volume, he and the illustrator creatively show what a group of children do to provide a broad interpretation of the song. Through the theme of the steps involved in a theatrical production, the children each find a costume and role that helps them shine their little light. Even, the shy, standoffish child finds a special place in the production. A careful look at the characters reveals different cultures, holidays and careers. The music, which is for piano and guitar, and the words are presented on the last page. A compact disc of three songs by Raffi is attached to the book. The songs include the title song plus "Down By the Bay" and "Let's Play." 2004 (orig.1982), Alfred A Knopf, Ages 2 to 6.
PreS-Gr 3-A welcome addition to a popular series, this folk song is a wonderful choice for encouraging kids to feel good about themselves and their talents. In this appealingly illustrated version, the warm pictures tell a story of their own. The title page shows a stage with a small face peeking out through the red curtains. Next, the verse "This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine" is accompanied by a bird's-eye view of a group of children turning on a light backstage. As the song continues, the students and their teacher rehearse, build sets, and raid boxes of costumes. Schuett uses many different types of lights to reinforce the theme, including flashlights, spotlights, stars, and candles. One particularly effective spread depicts the radiant faces of the singers' proud and loving families. The music and lyrics are appended. This offering will be a sure hit with the Raffi crowd; pair it with other picture-book renditions of songs for a boisterous storytime.-Bina Williams, Bridgeport Public Library, CT Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Schuett's art really lets Raffi's 1982 version of the traditional spiritual shine. Lowering the overall lighting level but kicking up the color intensity, she portrays a troupe of young thespians painting backdrops and choosing costumes in preparation for a performance, while a smaller child shyly looks on, sometimes hesitantly lending a hand. As the curtain opens, Schuett first cuts to an audience crowded with rapturous faces, then to the stage, where figures from Lady Liberty to a ghost with a jack-o'-lantern proffer diverse sources of light-and that child has become, literally, the Star of the show. Younger viewers may need a moment to figure out what happened, as only her hands and face are visible, and all of the children look pretty much alike. Still, the otherwise-easy-to-follow plot, and simple, repeating lyrics, makes this a natural for sharing with the preschool set. Lyrics recapped, with musical arrangement, at the end. (Picture book. 4-6)