Raffi Cavoukian is an internationally renknowned musician and performer for children, best known for hits like Baby Beluga, Bananaphone, and Down by the Bay. He is the founder of the Centre for Child Honouring, which advocates for an ecological worldview, a whole systems shift in the way we make decisions that affect our children's world. Learn more about Raffi, his music, and his foundation at RaffiNews.com, on Twitter at @Raffi_RC, or on Facebook at Facebook.com/Raffi.Cavoukian. Nadine Bernard Westcott has illustrated more than 100 books for young readers, including I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly, Big Picnic, Down by the Bay, and Peanut Butter and Jelly, the latter of which she also wrote. Nadine lives in Nantucket, Massachusetts, and divides her time between illustrating and designing her own line of fabrics.
The Raffi Songs to Read series presents tunes recorded by the popular children's singer in book form, imaginatively extended with colorful, exuberant illustrations. The result is an appealing companion set equally suited to both reading and singing along. In Westcott's interpretation of Down by the Bay, two young friends match wits as each tries to come up with the most outrageous rhyme: ``Did you ever see a goose kissing a moose?'' ``Did you ever see llamas eating their pajamas?'' The illustrations overflow with delicious absurdities. For the action-oriented verses of Shake My Sillies Out, Allender creates a group of spirited animals who cavort through the forest at bedtime, clapping their crazies out, jumping their jiggles out and wiggling their wagglies away. All the buoyancy and energy of this infectious song shine through in this pictorial narrative that doubles the fun. Ages 3-7. (October)
PreS-Gr 2 Raffi's popular songs are now available in picture book format. In the first, his cheerful nonsense verses are illustrated with equal cheer. Wescott's scraggly lines and bright, clear colors humorously portray the busy children, jolly animals, and frantic mothers that populate the song. The final two-page spread includes all of the characters, some visible through the house windows, and watermelon vines galore. Music (melody line, with chords marked) is included. Children will quickly get the idea of the rhymes and delight in making up their own wacky sights to be seen ``down by the bay.'' In the second book, the sign on the title page warns that ``silly animals'' are lurking in the Mariposa forest, and silly they are. As night settles over the woodlands, the animals appear and begin to ``shake their sillies out'' in a manic attempt to get to sleep. They overrun nearby Camp Mariposa and are happily cavorting with the campers until everyone tires and goes to sleep. Allender's large, simple shapes and saturated colors create vivid images for a song that begs to be sung and shaken and jumped and clapped. Melody line and chords are included in both books so everyone can join in the fun. Two good choices for storytimes, especially on those days when no one can sit still. Elaine Fort Weischedel, Turner Free Library, Randolph, Mass.