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There Once Was a Man Named Michael Finnegan    by Mary Ann Hoberman & Nadine Bernard Westcott order for
There Once Was a Man Named Michael Finnegan
by Mary Ann Hoberman
Order:  USA  Can
Little, Brown & Co., 2001 (2001)

Read an Excerpt

* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

This picture book is a delightful adaptation of the song by the same title ...'There once was a man named Michael Finnegan, / he had whiskers on his chin-i-gan, / shaved them off and they grew in-i-gan, / poor old Michael Finnegan, begin-i-gan.'

Mary Ann Hoberman continues for thirteen more amusing verses. These involve a violin, which is a big moneymaker for Michael Finnegan when everyone pours it into his 'tin-i-gan' to stop the 'din-i-gan'; a car and a spin; a visit to the Finnegan kin; and a dog named Quin, who does fortunately like his master's violin playing. The lyrics will have you tapping your feet and Nadine Bernard Westcott's cute and colorful illustrations will make you smile.

This is a fun picture book to sing along with younger kids - the music is even provided for accompaniment on a piano or 'violin-i-gan'. My only problem with There Once Was a Man Named Michael Finnegan was that I could not get the lyrics out of my head - they kept on wanting to 'begin-i-gan'!

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