CM . . .
. Volume XXI Number 19 . . . . January 23, 2015
Robert Louis Stevenson’s short poem, The Swing, is about the joy children experience when playing on a swing. On the first page, a boy is sitting on a wooden swing. Underneath his feet is a field of grass. On the next page, a girl in red shoes is flying up so high on her swing that she is eye to eye with a bird. Underneath her feet are fruit trees. The following pages show a boy playing on a tire swing in a park, a girl standing on a park swing, a boy lying on a swing on his stomach, and a girl from the countryside (braids, barefooted and overalls) swinging over her family’s garden. The book ends with a girl swinging over a field of flowers. It’s nighttime; the sky is black, but she’s still enjoying the sensation of going “up in the air and down!”
Morstad, who also illustrated the picture book Julia, Child by Maclear, captures that exhilarating feeling of being up in the sky on a swing. The views down below and up above are fantastic (water, boats, a field of cows), and the children’s pink cheeks and big smiles indicate they are thoroughly enjoying themselves. A few of the children are swinging with a friend, but many are alone. No adults appear on the page. The Swing is an easy rhyming poem to memorize, and a fun poem to read aloud during an infant or toddler storytime. Adults could sway or rock their child back and forth while the story is read.
Tanya Boudreau is a librarian at the Cold Lake Public Library in Cold Lake, AB.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.