The words of the popular song sung by Aretha Franklin and Dionne Warwick have been reinterpreted here as a song of love from a mother to her daughter on her birthday.
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PreSchool-Grade 3-The 1967 song has been transformed into an exuberant picture book in which a beaming black mother cherishes her young daughter. Sweeping, swirling, softly realistic watercolors in glowing shades are effectively arranged on double pages, full pages, and a variety of smaller shapes and sizes. They show the little girl awakening on her birthday, choosing a bright red dress to wear, walking to school with her mother, having a party in the park with her friends, and being tucked into bed at the end of a beautiful day. No father is present. Although not written specifically for a parent-child relationship, the lyrics adapt well as an expression of maternal feeling, stressing that the child will be loved forever. Suitable for reading aloud, the words are simple and rhythmic. The praying (nondenominational) and loving aspects are repeated for emphasis, while the sunny, joyful mood of the illustrations expands their meaning. Too bad that the score is not included.
Patricia Pearl Dole, formerly at First Presbyterian School, Martinsville, VA
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Ages 3-6. The Dionne Warwick standard is turned into a picture book with mixed results. As the words to the song flow across the pages, the art tells the story of an African American girl and her mother. It's the child's birthday, and first thing, her mother gives her daughter presents; later in the day, there's a party. The words occasionally touch literally on the pictures--for instance, "all through my coffee break time," Mom is showing off photos. However, it's the emotion between mother and child that permeates the pages. Some of the lyrics are disconcerting in this context: "to live without you would only mean heartbreak for me" is a bit overwrought at best and conjures up some awful images at worst. But the vividly colored artwork sings its own bright song and captures the happy feeling that courses through an ordinary day when you are loved. Young listeners will feel like they've been hugged, whether the text is read to them or sung. Ilene Cooper
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Book Description Chicken House, 2002. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0439296587
Book Description Chicken House, 2002. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110439296587
Book Description Chicken House, 2002. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Brand New!. Bookseller Inventory # VIB0439296587
Book Description Chicken House, 2002. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Karin Littlewood (illustrator). book. Bookseller Inventory # M0439296587