Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Hush Little Digger

I've seen at least three new books based on the lullaby, Hush Little Baby. I think it's quite difficult to create a new piece of work when you're tied to an existing poem or song. It's probably easier to adapt the song to suit your purposes.

Hush Little Digger, by Ellen Olson-Brown and illustrated by Lee White, takes that route and does it cleverly. The father is singing to the boy in his sandbox, and all the gifts are work vehicles, such as a front-end loader, a paver, and a street sweeper.

Some of the attempts to rhyme with the names of various machines create unwieldy sentences that push the limits of the meter, but after a couple of readings, you'll know when to speed up a bit. Here's a couple of the better stanzas:

And if that backhoe has a bad motor,
Papa's gonna find you a front-end loader.

And if that loader runs into bad luck,
Papa's gonna find you a big dump truck.

The final line is similar to the original ("You'll still be the best little digger around.") and finds the boy and his father back in the sand box with his shovel and toy backhoe.

A good book for boys and girls alike.

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