CM . . .
. Volume XX Number 4. . . .September 27, 2013
Little Jack Horner Live from the Corner is a fast-paced and enjoyable picture book featuring Jack Horner as a ‘50s-inspired rock n’ roll singer. While attempting to perform “Old MacDonald” despite a case of stage fright, Jack is constantly interrupted by know-it-all Mary, Mary Quite Contrary. All shook up, Jack tries his best to sing through the song, but Mary, Mary pipes in with her opinions and references to other nursing rhymes. For instance, when Jack sings “And on his farm he had some sheep,” Mary, Mary interjects with, “Excuse me, but that’s not right . . . . That Little Bo Peep . . . she’s such a scatterbrain! She lost her sheep and doesn’t know where to find them. There are no sheep on Old MacDonald’s farm. Not one.” Jack and Mary, Mary eventually achieve peace and harmony, with the once-shy Jack relieved and finally able to enjoy his performance.
Preschoolers and those in early grades will find it fun to catch each reference to a nursery rhyme, such as Humpty Dumpty, Chicken Little, and the Three Little Pigs. The illustrations, done in oil, are colourful and bright, with an almost Pinocchio-esque style on each character’s face. Readers will want to go back and examine each page closely for subtle references.
Little Jack Horner Live from the Corner is a fresh and wonderful attempt to modernize old nursery rhymes and is a must-have for all children’s collections.
Roxy Garstad is a librarian at MacEwan University in Edmonton, AB.
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