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Musical Picture Book series: POP Goes the Weasel, She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain, and The Hummingbird Sings and Dances Review by Ta’Neisha Kemp

The Secret Mountain
(514) 483-9281
3816 Royal Avenue
Montréal, Québec H4A 2M2
http://thesecretmountain.com

Reading and singing songs is one of our favorite things to do during homeschool time. Thankfully, The Secret Mountain has perfectly combined our top pastimes with their Musical Picture Book series featuring books and classic folk songs from around the globe. We received POP Goes the Weasel, She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain, and The Hummingbird Sings and Dances books from this series. Each features a physical book and either a link to the music recording or a compact disc.

POP Goes the Weasel is classic sing-along that I remember from music class in elementary school. This 32-page book showcases the song lyrics around fun, textured illustrations. In the back of the book, you'll find a page that includes all the lyrics as well as historical facts about the song. We learned that this tune started as dance music and the lyrics were added later. The versions of this song are also synonymous to geographical locations. The song can be accessed for free via the link on the back of your book. The song is provided via YouTube with a video featuring the book's illustrations. POP Goes the Weasel is $7.95 and recommend for children ages three to five.  

She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain is railroad work song from the late 1800s. This catchy tune features lyrics describing everyone's anticipation and excitement at the arrival of their unique visitor. All the lyrics are shown throughout the book and the entire song is posted in the back. On the back cover, you'll find a link to a video showcasing Sophie Casson's drawings paired with Sin and Swoon's singing. My oldest read the book with our younger children and then we watched the video. Since the same illustrations were used in both, the children recognized the characters and knew what was coming next. I think this book is great for children in preschool through second grade. She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain is priced at $7.95.

The Hummingbird Sings and Dances is the newest from The Secret Mountain’s Musical Picture Book series. This combo features a 64-page book and CD with 19 traditional nursery rhymes and lullabies from Latin American countries. In the first part of the book songs from Guatemala, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Argentina, El Salvador, and 12 other countries are presented with artwork that perfectly depicts the lyrics. Mariana Ruiz Johnson did a great job of creating the vibrant, festive, and color illustrations. Each is eye-catching and holds true to the historical style of the culture. The first part of this book includes one verse in Spanish and English but the complete lyrics can be found in the rear of the book. 

On the inside of the back cover, you'll find that a compact disc is also included with your purchase. A paper is also provided with instructions to obtain and a special code to access MP3 files for this music. We enjoyed the vocals of Mexico’s Grupo Cantaro and found the songs to be family-friendly. The music was so beautiful and we played through the CD as we cleaned house. I appreciated the English translations and used this set to incorporate additional Spanish into our weekly routine. The Hummingbird Sings and Dances is a hardcover picture book and is $16.95. 

The Secret Mountain is an award-winning Canadian based publishing company that has shared over 50 titles in English, French, and Spanish. I think the Musical Picture Book series definitely stays true to their desire of creating innovative collaborations between authors, musicians, and illustrators. POP Goes the Weasel, She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain, and The Hummingbird Sings and Dances are clever ways to share various cultures with children around the world. We enjoyed the musical variety, introduction to Spanish, and graphics from each book. Each of these books can be purchased directly from The Secret Mountain website.

 

-Product review by Ta'Neisha Kemp, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, December, 2018

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