Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Derby Ram

Adapted by John M. Feierabend
Illustrated by Jackie Roche

The Derby Ram is an adaption of a folksong believed to be originally sung in Derby, England. Different stories are associated with the folksong in England and now in the United States. It is said, by the text of the song, there was a ram that was so big the wool on his back reached into the sky. Because his back reached up so high, eagles built nests there.

This book is more appropriate for a music class or even perhaps a piano teacher, as the music score and lyrics are available in the back of the book. While the illustrations are pretty, they give an ethereal effect rather than engaging readers into the text. The suggested age is 4-8, again, this is not a book most parents would just sit down and read to a child. Especially the sing-song is a distraction for a simple reading. At the end of the book, Feierabend has included a wealth of information regarding “The Derby Ram” that is helpful in understanding why he choose to adapt this folksong. Finally, a free mp3 can be downloaded by following the directions in the book.

BIBLIO: 2010, GIA Publications, Inc., Ages 4-8, $16.95.
REVIEWER: Debby Willett
FORMAT: Picture Book
ISBN: 978-1-57999-783-0

REVIEWED FOR: Children’s Literature, Online Version, 9-9-10

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