Friday, May 10, 2013

Over in the Meadow

After receiving a book from Hawaii called Over on the Island and then hearing the song being sung, I have discovered so many books that have the melody of Over in the Meadow.  Just this last library visit, we checked out 3 books that had this melody!  I thought I would share some titles with you in case you are interested in reading them.  I do talk about the ease of singing the book to the melody.

1.  Over on the Island by Yuko Green and Sarah Tupou.  I really liked the torn paper like illustrations and I really enjoyed reading this story about the animals found in Hawaii.  The text fits well to the melody.  I imagine that it might be a hard book to find at libraries though.  It doesn't seem to be a widespread book.

2.  Over at the Castle by Boni Ashburn.  This one was difficult for me to sing as some of the lines of text were just part of the melody and it was hard to figure out which part of the song it was.  So I just ended up reading those lines in a normal voice.  Even when the verses did fit with the melody, I felt like there was a word missing or too many syllables.  I had to stop several times to explain words in the book.  My kids obsessed over the prisoner and could not grasp why he was there and why he was shackled.  Perhaps this would be a better book for older kids.

3.  Over in the Hollow by Rebecca Dickinson.  I loved the Halloween take on this book.  It's filled with Halloween creatures-ghosts, vampires, monsters, spiders, monsters, etc.  Each creature does a distinct action.  The words fit the melody very well.  It's not a scary Halloween book.  I read this to my kids' preschool class on Halloween and they sat and listened to the book very nicely.  I thought that the illustrations were really nice and not scary.

4.  Going Around the Sun: Some Planetary Fun by Marianne Berkes.  This author has created quite a few other books with this melody.  I picked this book up because my son loves to read books about space and surprisingly it's hard to find pictures books about space travel.  This book threw me off because it doesn't start with "over in the..."  It started with "Up in outer space..."  But other than that the words fit with the melody.  The pictures are fun drawings of the planets.  I don't think it teachers kids too much about the planets but it still is fun.

5.  Over in the Arctic Where the Cold Wind Blows by Marianne Berkes.  This book shows different animals that live in the Arctic region.  In the illustrations you see other animals hiding in the background.  At the end the verse tells you to go back and look for the hidden animals.  You can read about these animals in the back.  You can also read about the other Arctic animals in the back.  The text fits well with the melody.

6.  Who's Who? by Ken Geist.  This book is about animal twins which is why I picked it up for my twins.  Then we found out that it is to the tune of "Over in the Meadow."  It's a cute story about twin animals but I found the illustrations a little distracting.  There was so much going on in them that wasn't part of the text.  It was fairly easy to sing as well.

7.  Over in the Forest: Come and Take a Peek by Marianne Berkes.  This book is similar to Over in the Arctic with the hidden animals.  My kids really enjoyed finding all the different animals in the book.  The text was easy to sing as well.

8.  Little Goblins Ten by Pamela Jane.  This was another Halloween book written to the melody of "Over in the Meadow."  It has different creatures such as a monster, ghost, zombie, witch, dragons and much more.  The illustrations are a little less cutesy than Over in the Hollow but they aren't scarey at all.  Its easy to sing this book.

9.  Over in the Jungle by Marianne Berkes.  This was another one of the author's books with this rhyme that visits another habitat.  This one did not have the hidden animals in it.  The illustrations were so fabulous.  I was trying to figure out what the background was-it looked like broccoli that had been colored but at the end the illustrator told us that she put polymer clay in the food processor!  The different textures in the illustrations were amazing!

10.  Out on the Prairie by Donna Bateman.  This was my least favorite of all the "Over in the Meadow" books.  The lines didn't work as well- some were too long and others were too short. I didn't care for some of the illustrations.  In some of the verses, I had no idea what the author was talking about!  But I guess that means I don't know enough about prairie plants!

11.  Over in the Grasslands by Anna Wilson.  This book fit fairly well to the tune-one line I thought needed to have one more syllable (the same line in each verse) but other than that it was fine.  The one thing that disappointed me was the animals they picked to feature in this book.  There are some animals that are not common-rhinos, hippos, lions, etc but then they did verses for frogs, eagles, hares and bees.  I thought it would have been nicer if they had more animals that you could only find in the grasslands of Africa.

Here are other titles I have found but have been unable to get at my library:
Somewhere in the Ocean by Jennifer Ward
Over in Australia by Marianne Berkes
Over in the Ocean in a Coral Reef by Marianne Berkes
Over in the Garden by Jennifer Ward
Way Out in the Desert by Jennifer Ward
Way Up in the Arctic by Jennifer Ward
The House in the Meadow by Shutta Crum (I think this is to the tune)
Plus tons of books titled "Over in the Meadow"

If you know of any more, let me know!


  1. My kids love the book "Earthsong" by Sally Rogers, which is about endangered animals and their habitats. Sometimes the meter is a little off if you are trying to sing it, but the illustrations are beautiful. Oh, and the counting is a little wacky. Check it out at your library.

  2. The other two that my girls love are ones that you mentioned your library does not have. "Over in the Ocean in a Coral Reef" written by Marianne Berkes and illustrated by Jeanette Canyon has gorgeous modeled clay illustrations. I love to see all the detail in the pictures, and the last page is full of all the animals for the kids to find. We also own "Over in the Garden" by Jennifer Ward, which has bright and colorful illustrations where kids have to find the number that is hiding in the picture. My girls love to be the first to spot the hidden number. I highly recommend both of these.