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Saturday, August 10, 2013

Sing. Lyrics and music by Joe Raposo, with the story in pictures by Tom Lichtenheld. Christry Ottaviano Books, Henry Holt & Company. Raincoast, 2013. $18.99 ages 2 and up

Sing a song.

Sing out loud,
Sing out strong.

Sing of
good things,
not bad."

We've been singing this lovely, lovely song since Erin was a baby in 1976. As a kindergarten teacher, it was one of the first songs I taught each and every year. We did sing out LOUD and STRONG...and it didn't matter that the little ones weren't always on key as I wasn't either. But, it didn't deter us from singing it over and over again. It may even have made it to a concert or two.

It is such a joy to have Tom Lichtenheld interpret it for a new generation of readers! In the beginning, it is wordless. None are needed to show readers and listeners how the three tiny birds are feeling about a cloudless blue sky. One tweets and off it goes to new adventure. A second follows. The third can't seem to make a sound. It appears befuddled and concerned about that lack. Determined to keep trying, and then discouraged by failure, it is still in the nest when a young man appears, carrying his guitar and prepared to make music.

As the wee purple non-warbler listens, the music rises and gathers beneath the nest. It eventually breaks the nest into its component parts, leaving the tiny bird to absorb its many joyous notes. It is all the incentive needed, and all you will need to get your little listeners finding their own voices.

A CD is included which might help you find a voice to share it...then, it's sure to be heard again and again in the days to come.

"Don't worry that
it's not good enough
for anyone else to hear.

Just sing,
Sing a song!"

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