The Ruth Seeger song collection American Folk Songs For Children is outstanding. A newer collection, also extremely beautiful, is titled Go In And Out The Window by Dan Fox and Claude Marks, published by Henry Holt. Go In And Out The Window doesn’t have all the helpful apparatus, the hints for parents, the games and activities that American Folk Songs For Children has, and it doesn’t have the useful indexing of songs by topic or occasion. What this song book does have is stunningly beautiful illustrations on every page for every song. Each illustration is a full color reproduction of an artwork in the Metropolitan Museum. The accompanying text on each page describes song, or work of art, or both. As for the songs, many are old favorites like “The Farmer in the Dell” or “Billy Boy”. Others will be new to you. The musical accompaniment and suggestions for guitar chords are not difficult. The real joy of this book is to see the surprising choices of art so gorgeously juxtaposed with the songs.
Peter Neumeyer is a professor of English at San Diego State University and highly recognized in the field of children’s literature. He is the author, editor, or translator of 10 books and over 100 articles. His articles and reviews appear regularly in Mother and Parents’ Choice. In 1994, he published The Annotated Charlotte’s Web, and he is currently assembling his second collection of poetry.