Sunday, December 18, 2016

You Are My Pumpkin by Mary Lee

Rating: WORTHY!

This is the first of three reviews of children's books by Mary Lee. They're seasonal, and this one is obviously aimed at Halloween. The little girl who is at the heart of these stories is named Emma, which happens to be the name of a niece of mine as well as the title of a Jane Austen novel.

Each of the three novels has rhyming text patterned after a song or a nursery rhyme. The Halloween story follows the rhythm of You Are My Sunshine. The composer of the original song is somewhat of a mystery, but is apparently thought to be Paul Rice. The author offers no history or credit for any of the songs she riffs on, which is sad.

That said, her re-wording of the song is amusing. Instead of 'sunshine', we get 'pumpkin', as Emma views skies that are black with bats instead of blue with sunshine, on Halloween night, and she plays with the owls. I found it a bit sad that the author retained the line "you'll never know pumpkin ['dear' in the original] how much I love you" - I would have thought that loving parents would find ways to communicate that much! They may not understand the cost of such love, but kids sure understand its power.

That said, I liked the story and the easy rhyme and the fun artwork, so I recommend this one.