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Turn! Turn! Turn!

by Pete Seeger
Illustrated by Wendy Anderson Halperin

      If the authorís name seems familiar, youíre right. Legendary folk singer Pete Seeger introduces his famous song "Turn, Turn, Turn" to another media and age group in the childrenís book, Turn! Turn! Turn! Seeger originally wrote the song after adapting it from the Book of Ecclesiastes. The Byrds made the song a big hit in the 1960ís.

The book includes two versions of Seegerís "Turn, Turn, Turn": Seegerís tempo a slower, thoughtful prose, and the Byrdsí popular, upbeat song. The book's beginning shows a door wide open to an inviting, grassy field. Illustrator Wendy Anderson Halperin deserves praise for depicting difficult and sometimes vague topics as imaginative pictures. A circle covers both pages facing the reader, with each half portraying one side of the lyrics. The illustrations depict the prose, such as "Time to build, time to tear down." The page division separates the opposing ideas.

The illustrations are filled with people of all nationalities and abilities. The "Time to Weep" shows a school bus pulling away from a curb, as well as the faithful at the Wailing Wall. Each half includes different-sized shapes, and it is fun to find a pictureís opposite on the other page. The illustrations are kid friendly, bright, and thoughtful.

Turn! Turn! Turn! does not fit with typical read-along books, since the lyrics are too fast to look through the corresponding pictures. Young kids will enjoy listening to the upbeat songs and discovering new ideas through the pictures. Older kids can benefit from discussing the more complex topics such as peace or hate. My tween-aged son enjoyed finding the opposites on each page, plus guessing the larger meaning behind the illustrations. We played the CD in its entirety, then listened as we discovered the world of wonder among the pages. Enjoy Turn! Turn! Turn!, a book that opens your heart and your soul!

The Book

Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Hardcover Book with CD
0689852355 / 978-0689852350
Childrenís Non-fiction
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The Reviewer

Jennifer Akers
Reviewed 2007
© 2006