Sally Go Round the Stars is an eyecatching book. My initial impression was formed by the wonderful graphics and illustrations. While they illustrate the poems, they also draw your imagination in to create a scene behind and around the characters. It encourages you to develop a narrative around the characters and the text.
As the saying goes “a picture paints a thousand words” and a couple that come to mind are “There was an Old Woman” which very cleverly shows the contents of her stomach, there is also” Skinny Malink” and “Little Miss Muffet”. “Incy Wincy Spider” cleverly illustrates a complex maze of pipes for the poor spider to climb! This page, along with the others, could illicit some interesting questions and oral language lessons. For the senior end of the school it could also prompt some interesting writing lessons for English agus Gaeilge.
It may be difficult for a child with sight difficulties to read some of the text where it is white on a grey background. I would be very happy to use this book in my class with a visualiser for the junior or senior end of the school. Dare I say it… some simple poems as Gaeilge would really compliment the content of this book.
This book contains all of the “typical” nursery rhymes we can think of, “Old Mac Donald had a Farm”, “Baa Baa Black Sheep” etc But alongside these rhymes there are some great Irish ones such as “Two Cats of Kilkenny”, “The Claddagh Boatman” and “Mary Mac Mac Mac”. The latter was a great favourite of ours in the playground. The inclusion of these rhymes really makes this book unique. My class, senior infants, have really enjoyed learning some of these rhymes and listening to the memories their parents and grandparents have as a result.
As I’ve said, the illustrations are appealing to all ages. I think the individual pages would make great posters for the classroom, not just in the junior end of the school but also in the senior end. They could start a really good art lesson where children have to illustrate a simple poem or text.
Deirdre Ní Cheallaigh teaches in Scoil Bhríde, Mionloch, Co. Galway. She also manages Subkit, a website with resources for those doing substitute work in primary schools