Picture Book: Skip to My Lou

A fun twist on the traditional children’s song. A little boy is left on the farm while his parents go into town for the afternoon. Once they are gone, the farm animals take over the house. Pigs wearing dresses are in the parlor eating pancakes. Cows are in the kitchen making pancakes. Roosters are in the pantry and sheep in the bathtub. The boy wanders around from room to room picking up after the animals until he gets caught up in the fun, dancing around the house. And then he catches sight of the clock and realizes he has fifteen minutes to clean up. All the animals pitch in and they get the job done just in time. Most of the story is told in pictures. The lyrics are simple and just hint at the action; the pictures tell the full story.

This is Sophie’s current favorite book. She calls it “Skip a loo loo” We’ve been reading it several times a day; but it’s my favorite nap time book right now. I put it at the bottom of the pile and read it last. The singing lulls her toward sleep, making her much more amenable to being transferred from my lap to her bed. I make up my own verses about the pictures and drag out the song until I see her starting to nod, then we finish up the book and I continue to sing, making up a sort of going to bed song to the same tune. “Here’s Sophie’s blanket, skip to my lou. Here’s Sophie’s pillow, skip to my lou.”

Did you know you can sing a litany of saints to the tune of Skip to My Lou? Perhaps it’s not the most reverent litany in the world but it does the trick of sending my baby girl to sleep with a prayer when I’m afraid changing the tune I’m singing will jar her awake.

6 Responses to Picture Book: Skip to My Lou

  1. GeekLady January 27, 2010 at 10:02 am #

    My dad forced me to read this book when I was about 9 or 10, and I hated it.  He forced me to read it because his mother forced him to read it at that age and he hated it.  I shall have to conduct an experiment and have my son read it at the same age without knowing that we hated it to see if this is genetics or environment.

  2. MrsDarwin January 27, 2010 at 11:00 am #

    I started Mistress Masham’s repose several months ago, got about halfway through, and then stopped.  I enjoyed it, but I was reading it aloud to the girls and they just weren’t old enough to follow the action.  Perhaps we’ll pick it up again (from the beginning) in another year or so. 

    I don’t know why I didn’t finish it myself.  I didn’t hate it, though!

  3. Melanie Bettinelli January 27, 2010 at 11:11 am #

    What is it about being made to read a book that makes us hate it so?

    I remember my first exposure to Jane Austen in high school. I didn’t exactly hate it; but neither did I love it. I think that was just knowing it was our teacher’s favorite book (plus having a bunch of my own books I’d rather have been reading.)

    I was fully prepared to not like Mistress Masham because I hated The Once and Future King with a passion when I read it in high school. But then I was in love with Mary Stewart at the time and White’s Camelot just felt flat and Disneyfied. Plus I hated how he spelled out the theme in so many words about might makes right. It seemed just so obvious and therefore bad writing. And it didn’t help that that English teacher made us keep a reading journal.

    I wonder, though, if your son would enjoy the book more if he discovered it for himself? I found Little Women when my mom just left it on my bookshelf and adored it all the more because it seemed like my own secret treasure book. Likewise when in high school I picked up Portrait of the Artist As a Young Man off my mom’s shelf. I’d probably have hated it as an assignment but discovering Joyce’s language on my own was a treat. I didn’t half understand it but I liked it.

  4. GeekLady January 27, 2010 at 5:41 am #

    Well, I have it lying around somewhere, so I’ll have to sit down and re-read it and see if the distaste lingers.  I was never especially familiar with Gulliver’s Travel’s as a child, so I know I missed that subtext.  It’s possible that it just isn’t my style of book

    In many instances, books my dad made me read, or forcibly read to me, became all time favorites.  The Princess of Mars is the most notorious of these, as I actually hid that book to prevent its being read out loud only to have him produce ANOTHER copy and read from that one.  Yet it’s one of my favorites.

  5. Melissa Wiley January 28, 2010 at 10:26 am #

    I did post about it long ago—but only that I had first heard of it in A Child’s Delight. I bought it then but STILL haven’t read it! I remember The Deputy Headmistress @ Common Room commenting on my post that it was marvelous and I should read it immediately. Eep, I think that was 3 years ago. wink

    Well, you inspire me anew! And Jane is reading Gulliver’s Travels right now…maybe I’ll send it her way first.

  6. Melanie Bettinelli January 28, 2010 at 11:29 am #

    Lissa, That’s what I thought, that it was somehow because of A Child’s Delight. I think it would be especially delightful to read right after Gulliver.  Definitely send it Jane’s way.

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