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Pepi Sings a New Song    by Laura Ljungkvist order for
Pepi Sings a New Song
by Laura Ljungkvist
Order:  USA  Can
Simon & Schuster, 2010 (2010)
*   Reviewed by Bob Walch

Pepi the parrot loves to sing but his friend Peter is a little tired of hearing the same song over and over again. Since Peter looks through his telescope at the stars each night, Pepe serenades the boy with a melody about Mars, the Milky Way and the stars.

Since that celestial theme has worn rather thin, the parrot is off on an excursion to discover some new things to sing about. First he visits a bakery, then both a music and art studio, a farmer's market and a park where a lot of dogs hang out.

With all the things he has seen fresh in his mind, Pepi returns home where he creates a new song for Peter. 'Twinkle, twinkle, little flute, / Poodle, xylophone, cobalt, fruit. / Carrot, saxophone, icing, bow, / Violet, terrier, canvas, dough,' sings the parrot. 'Pastries, whippet, sculpture, kale, / Bulldog, easel, trombone, scale.'

Although Peter says he likes this new song, frankly I find it exceptionally stupid. Granted, some of the pre-schoolers who have this book read aloud to them may squeal with delight but others will probably have a blank look on their faces.

Supposedly this picture book celebrates community, creativity and the fun of learning new words. Whatever! But I still think there are better ways of increasing a child's vocabulary without this silly nonsense.

Admittedly, a heavy dose of unabashed silliness has always been attractive to children in the two to four age group, so my assessment may not be worth a great deal. But since adults must dig into their pockets when it comes time to purchase a picture book, an author would be well advised to keep them in mind when deciding on a book's theme.

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