Select one of the keywords
Down By the Bay: Songs to Read    by Raffi & Nadine Bernard Westcott order for
Down By the Bay
by Raffi
Order:  USA  Can
Crown, 1990 (1987)
Hardcover, Softcover
* * *   Reviewed by J. A. Kaszuba Locke

My twelve-year old grandson Steven sang this song to me when he was in first grade, and I still love to hear him sing it to his Babcia. Down By the Bay is one of many in a series of Raffi's Songs to ReadŽ. The song has been around for some time as part of American folk heritage, and youngsters (and oldsters) catch right on to the tune. The back of the book has a page of music, to learn how the verses are sung.

Along with children eating watermelons from a watermelon patch, frisky animals cavort on land - 'llamas eating their pajamas' and 'a bear combing his hair'. In the water, a wide-smiling grey whale with a pink-polka-dot tail makes a big splash. Mom hangs the day's laundry while she sings along, or sits in a lawn chair reading a book.

Are you ready? Here goes ... I'm singing 'Down by the bay, where the watermelons grow, / Back to my home I dare not go. / For if I do my mother will say, / 'Did you ever see a goose kissing a moose,/Down by the bay?' This is an excellent rhyme for older siblings to read to younger ones. And don't be shy about creating your own words to the tune! It can also be sung as a duet, one person singing the first verse, then the other singing the second.

Raffi is a popular Canadian entertainer who lives in Vancouver, British Columbia. Nadine Bernard Westcott's home is in Nantucket, Massachusetts, and her cheerful color illustrations highlight the words and scenes. Other books in the series include This Little Light of Mine, Shake My Sillies Out, and Wheels On The Bus.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more Kids books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews