Monday, April 27, 2009

I Know a Shy Fellow Who Swallowed a Cello Ages 4-7

He's shy, a wallflower. He's the man at the side of the room listening to a duet for cello and viola. Even now you wouldn't notice him. But our shy fellow suddenly has an urge to swallow a cello, which is precisely what he does. And he doesn't stop there. He follows it with a harp, a sax, and a fiddle. On and on he goes, trying to satisfy his voracious appetite for musical instruments. A strange diet, you say? It's the perfect diet for a strange fellow, a strange, shy fellow. Barbara S. Garriel's wacky take-off on the old woman who swallowed a fly is the perfect match for John O'Brien's fertile and funny imagination.
I know a shy fellow who swallowed a cello
By Barbara S. Garriel
Illustrated by Barbara S. Garriel
Edition: illustrated
Published by Boyds Mills Press, 2004
ISBN 1590780434, 9781590780435
32 pages
Surreal illustrations add disturbing and ...... enjoyable vigor to this adaptation of "I Know an Old Woman Who Swallowed a Fly." The shy fellow is listening to a string duet when, much to the consternation of the cellist, he swallows the cello—"perhaps he'll bellow." This strange gentleman, now shaped like the cello he has swallowed, follows up with the harp from an Irish dance troupe, the saxophone from a jazz band, a cowboy's fiddle, a marching band's cymbal, the flute from a revolutionary war piper, and a birthday party's kazoo. With each addition to his strange meal, the shy fellow becomes more and more strangely shaped. At last he swallows the bell off a passing cat's collar—one snack too many!—and the resulting explosion returns the instruments to the musicians in a delightfully vibrant musical blast. The dynamic line of the illustrations, full of swoops and squiggles, provides excellent accompaniment to this silly reworking of a familiar rhyme. (Picture book. 4, 5, 6, 7)
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