The Rooster Crows A Book of American Rhymes and Jingles by Maud Miska Petersham

The Rooster Crows A Book of American Rhymes and Jingles by Maud Miska Petersham

2030

Publishing: Macmillan, New York, 1973 (original 1945)

Description: Exactly as the title says, this book is filled with common rhymes and songs. Many of them were familiar to me, and some were not, but they are all short and the rhyme schemes are pleasing. The illustrations look like pencil drawings that have been filled in with very light colors. Sometimes the illustrations take almost a whole page, while other times they are small and sit right next to the rhymes.

Programming: It would be fun to divide a class or big group into small teams and have each one act out the rhyme. Several of the rhymes were used to remember information. For example, one that my mother used to say all the time was, “Red sky at night, sailors delight. Red in the morning, sailors take warning.” Another tells how to spell Mississippi. You might discuss with students how having a rhyme helps people remember things, and you might give them another example and have them explain what advice the rhyme was giving. This might also be a good introduction to poetry, because these are likely rhymes that many students are already familiar with.

Drummer Hoff, Adapted by Barbara Emberly, Ill. by Ed Emberly

Drummer Hoff, Adapted by Barbara Emberly, Ill. by Ed Emberly

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Publishing: Simon and Schuster, New York, 1967

Awards: Caldecott Medal Winner

Description: This short rhyme describes all of the different military men that each contribute to the firing of a cannon. Each man’s name rhymes with the role he plays, such as “Sergeant Chowder brought the powder” and “Major Scott brought the shot.” The art is a set of beautiful, bold, colorful line drawings, but I would expect nothing less of a book published in the heyday of The Beatles.

Programming: This book could be connected to rhyme, or little boys would probably appreciate learning the mechanics of how a cannon is fired. A trip to a local museum or historical site would be perfect. High School art students could analyze how the art in this book is representative of the culture at the time. Because of the rhyming, repetitive nature, this would be a good book to act out or create a felt board for.

The House in the Night by Susan Marie Swanson, Ill. Beth Krommes

The House in the Night by Susan Marie Swanson, Ill. Beth Krommes

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Publishing: Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 2008.

Awards: Caldecott Medal Winner

Description: This night-time routine book works from outside the house (“this is the key to the house”) to inside a story book, back out again, and finally back in through the same series of steps. The black and white cross-hatched drawings are lightened with a soft yellow that mimics the glow of a lamp or the moon. This is a great bedtime story in the same vein as Goodnight Moon.

Programming: Kids could discuss/write about their own night-time routines. Because this book is inspired by the rhyme “This is the Key of the Kingdom,”  it might be interesting to discuss the original rhyme and where/how the two differ. The words to one version of the rhyme can be found here:

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