Children's books and book reviews - reading resource for kids, teachers, librarians, parents

*Over the Rainbow (Book and Audio CD)* by Judy Collins, illustrated by Eric Puybaret
Also illustrated by Eric Puybaret:

Manfish: A Story of Jacques Cousteau
Over the Rainbow (Book and Audio CD)
by Judy Collins, illustrated by Eric Puybaret
Ages 3-5 26 pages Imagine/Peter Yarrow Books March 2010 Hardcover    

Over the Rainbow begins with a verse that you won’t hear in the Wizard of Oz movie (“When all the world is a hopeless jumble and the raindrops tumble all around…”), but it ends with the more familiar “Why, oh, why can’t I?”

In this book, the sky is stormy and the rain is falling. Moods are dismal in the city as people race for shelter, but on a farm, a dark-haired girl escapes the weather and gloom by crawling up the rainbow that has appeared at her window. She goes to a magical land dressed only in her nightgown but she has a smile on her face for the duration of the visit. Multicolored birds accompany her to an entrance that appears to split the clouds. A multitude of glowing stars light her way.

The rainbow acts as a bridge to a land where she is reminded of happy childhood memories (lullabies at bedtime) and where she can spend time dancing among the planets and stars. When it’s time for the girl to go home, she glides back to the farm with blue birds that resemble peacocks and herons. Once she is safely on the ground, the moon and clouds come down to say goodbye.

Accompanying this picture book is a three-song music CD sung by Grammy Award-winner Judy Collins. The first song is sung to the story (however, there is repetition of a verse on the CD that is not illustrated in the book). The second and third songs are short lullabies that are accompanied by piano and children’s vocals.

Over the Rainbow is painted (acrylics on linen) to look like a happy, welcoming world. The clouds hug the planets; the moon and stars smile, and the castles tip their hats and extend their arms in welcoming gestures. It’s also a twinkling world. Stars light up the skies and decorate a beautiful dress. This picture book is a positive interpretation of the song because here the little girl is able to fly over the rainbow.

Over the Rainbow would be a lovely story to hear before falling asleep. There is magic happening above the rainbow throughout the book but the dark green skies surrounding the girl give the illustrations a feeling of calm and peace.

Eric Puybaret is the artist of the book Puff, the Magic Dragon (2010). Judy Collins owns her own record label called Wildflower Records. Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg wrote the songs for the Wizard of Oz movie.

click here to browse children's board book reviews
click here to browse children's picture book reviews
click here to browse young readers book reviews
click here to browse young readers book reviews
click here to browse young adult book reviews
click here to browse parenting book reviews
web reviews
  Tanya Boudreau/2011 for curled up with a good kid's book  

For grown-up fiction, nonfiction and speculative fiction book reviews,
visit our sister site Curled Up With a Good Book (