Bibliographic Info: Raffi Down by the Bay Crown Books for Young Readers (1999) 32pp $6.99 Formats: Board Book, Paperback ISBN-13: 978-0517800584, Reading Level: 2.5 Interest Level: Toddler-2nd grade Genre: Sing-Along/Music, Rhymes Themes: Creativity, Imagination, Moms
Summary: Down by the Bay is one of Raffi’s most popular songs available in picture book format. The story song unfolds in each of its verses which build up to the song’s singable chorus. Two children imagine their mothers asking silly questions like, “Did you ever see a goose kissing a moose?”, “Did you ever see a fly wearing a tie?”, and “Did you ever see llamas eating pajamas?” Each verse ends with an exuberant “down by the bay.”
Review: In this story, bright colors and crooked lines effectively depict silly kids, mothers and animals. The book’s celebratory ending includes all of the song’s ridiculous characters. As with all Raffi’s singable books, the music is conveniently included. Toddlers and preschoolers will be entertained and educated by this story song’s joyful use of the three r’s: rhythm, rhyme and repetition.
Storytime: In storytime, just hit play, sing-along and turn the pages. Children will quickly catch on and even make up their own silly verses. Just ask them what else someone might see down by the bay. This is one of those books that needs to be made available in a digital format so it can be projected on a big screen during storytime.
Significance: Down by the Bay has been one of Raffi’s best-loved creations since it was published in 1988.
I chose to review Down by the Bay because the tune is infectious and the lyrics are ridiculous.