I’s the B’y (The Beloved Folk Song) illustrated by Lauren Soloy


I’s the B’y (The Beloved Folk Song) illustrated by Lauren Soloy. Greystone Kids, 2022. 9781771648332

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5

Format: Hardcover picture book

Genre: Music

What did you like about the book? I have never been to Newfoundland, but after reading this book I want to visit the lovely picturesque island and take part in a community sing-along and folk dance! This rollicking folk song, with musical notation included, is brought to life by the spirited digital art, which shows diverse people and animals rocking out to the tune. There is an elk playing the bodran, a fish with a fiddle and happiness galore. I was pleased to see a map of Newfoundland and notes that explain the vernacular of the song’s words. (‘I’s the b’y = I’m the boy, with boy currently standing in for a gender neutral pronoun.)

The song describes a fishing person going out to bring food home to the family. It’s a festive ditty that begs to be danced to with a live fiddler. This charming book would be a great addition to music units for preschool through grade 3, where kids can develop a dance and accompany the song to percussion instruments.

Anything you didn’t like about it? No.

To whom would you recommend this book?  Music loving families of young children

Who should buy this book? Daycare centers, preschools, elementary schools and public libraries

Where would you shelve it ? Picture books or 782, with other books containing songs and music

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes, if you’re interested in folk music

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Stephanie Tournas, Robbins Library, Arlington, MA

Date of review: June 27, 2022

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