Friday, September 28, 2007

And the Green Grass Grew All Around (Genre: Folk Literature)

Bibliographic Data
Author: collected by Alvin Schwartz
Illustrator: Sue Truesdell
Publisher: Harpercollins Childrens Books
Publication Date: March 1992
ISBN: 978-0060227579

Plot Summary
This is a collection of folk poetry and rhymes. It includes various children’s songs such as The Green Grass Grew All Around and On Top of Spaghetti among others but also includes the children’s variants of famous songs such as Battle Hymn of the Republic “Mine eyes have seen the glory/Of the closing of the school” which makes an appearance yearly on the last day of classes.

Critical Analysis
This book enraptured all of my children (preschool, first and second grade.) They laughed and hooted at the different parody songs, and they sang along with the more traditional folk poetry and lyrics.

This text is a wonderful resource for educators to pull traditional folk literature. It is also a great book to use to inject some humor into the classroom when things are getting stressful or too serious.

The notes are very helpful for poetry study and could be used not only for primary information but also for springboards for in depth author or poet studies. I particularly liked the source section that traces historical information and helps readers to understand the roots of the poem or lyrics.

Review Excerpts
From School Library Journal
Grade 3 Up - A marvelous book that is sure to become a classic if children have any say in the matter. Schwartz has gathered sassy, funny, scary, and slightly naughty children's folk poetry heard on schoolgrounds and wherever else kids are having fun. Adults who stew over the appropriateness of Roald Dahl's books or Shel Silverstein's poetry may have concerns here, but kids will love having all their underground playground rhymes in one volume. Scores are included for ``On Top of Spaghetti,'' ``Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory/ Of the Closing of the School,'' and other songs. It's hard to imagine illustrations better suited to the book's silly, energized tone than Truesdell's big-eyed, animated, and humorous characters. Given plenty of white space, they tumble, goof, and guffaw across the pages, in ideal tandem with the poetry. These drawings may be in black and white, but readers will never pick up a more colorful book. Of additional interest to many people, adults in particular, are the ``Notes'' in the back on folk poets and poetry; ``Sources'' that trace the selections' origins are also helpful. Read this outrageous volume before it is shelved; once the kids discover it, it will always be checked out. --Lee Bock, Brown County Pub . Lib . , Green Bay, WI
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews
Not since Carl Withers's A Rocket in My Pocket (1948) has there been such a grand compilation of familiar (and unfamiliar) rhymes and chants from the children's own tradition: riddles, games, wishes and taunts; poems about love, food, school, or animals; parodies, nonsense, and stories. Schwartz organizes them by topic and/or form and provides all kinds of fascinating supporting material: an engagingly conversational introduction; general explanatory notes plus full item-by-item sources, many of which are intriguing in themselves (``Avik Roy, age 13, Detroit...1986''; ``Editor's recollection, Ten Mile River Boy Scout Camp...1940''), or which give alternate versions; even an occasional tune. In b&w pen and watercolor, Truesdell's marvelous characters dance across the generously broad pages, peering inquisitively at the hilarious goings-on or gleefully joining in the shenanigans. It's hard to imagine a child who wouldn't greet this treasure trove with enthusiasm. Extensive bibliography (items ``of interest to young people'' are starred); index. (Folklore. 4+) -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

  • Use as a resource for traditional children’s folk songs.
  • Use for poetry study resource.
  • Use as resource for tracing lyrical history and folk poetry history.

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