CM Archive
CM Archive Book Review line


Toronto, Homeland Publishing, c1983.
Distributed by McClelland and Stewart.
48pp, paper, $14.95 (cloth), $9.95 (paper).
ISBN 0-7710-7261-9 (cloth), 0-7710-7260-0 (paper).

Pre-School-Grade 2.
Reviewed by Joan Weller.

Volume 11 Number 5.
1983 September.

Raffi, successful children's recording artist, offers up a special book to accompany his album Baby Beluga, which was released in 1980. Songs and music with chords indicated for guitar or ukulele are colour coded (blue border for side 1 of the record, orange for side 2) to enable listeners to sing along with the recording. Some of the colourfully illustrated songs are followed by an activity. For example, "Biscuits in the Oven" includes a recipe; "Over in the Meadow" has a counting game involving the double-page illustration. The inclusion of these activities makes the book more than a song book but detracts from its impact. In designing the book, more thought should have gone into the placement of the added activities. For example, the number game written over the picture to "Over in the Meadow" is lost. Likewise, the awkward placement of facts about the song, "Day-0" results in the information going almost unnoticed. Illustrative continuity and quality are lacking, as pictures are by five different illustrators. The book's limited appeal rests with those who wish to listen and sing along with Raffi or learn words to some of his songs.

Joan Weller, Ottawa P. L., Ottawa, ON.
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