I love this book!
This song has special significance for my sister and I as it is our song. When she was little there was a television program called The Sunshine Years (which I cannot seem to find any information on) about a widowed father raising his young daughter, Jill. He was a musician and they traveled around singing and spreading his wife's ashes. The dad was very loving and protective of his daughter and I always likened that TV relationship with me and my little sister. Sunshine on My Shoulders was one of the song's he played for Jill and I used to sing it to my sister when I tucked her in at night. Over the years I have given her the music and sang it to her accompanied by my trusty player piano. When this book/CD came out I simply had to get it for her.
Now she plays it for her youngest daughter who is four years old. When I was out on LI to see Josh (who is still in ICU with a bleeding spleen but on the mend) I sat and listened to the song while my niece and I followed along in the book. We did this twice and both times the song/book brought tears to my eyes. I am such a softie.
The book is adapted and illustrated by Christopher Canyon who has also transformed two other John Denver songs; Grandma's Feather Bed and Take me Home, Country Roads into children's books.
I shall conclude this list of song ~ books with the title that was actually the first instance of this phenomenon that I came across. It is Dolly Parton's masterpiece Coat of Many Colors. If ever there was a song that screamed children's book this is it.
Not only is it a beautifully moving song with a perfect message but it also translates effortlessly into a book for children and adults. The illustrations by Judith Sutton initially did not do it for me but I have come to appreciate the fact that they were perhaps meant to take a back seat to the lyrics. I ask you...Is there anything that Dolly cannot master?
So, good for me. I have two more Christmas gifts bought now that I am really excited about and another wonderful book to share with my first grade students this fall. Yippee! Somehow it seems so wrong that I could walk through the children's section at Barnes and Noble and feel so blissful. Children's books are getting better and better. Well, there will never be another Curious George but I must admit to the world that yes...I am a children's book addict. Can you say "Welcome, Gary"?