Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg, authors
Composer Harold Arlen and lyricist E.Y. Harburg were two of Broadway and Hollywood’s most popular songwriters. They wrote the songs for the classic film The Wizard of Oz, for which they won an Academy Award®.
See more about Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg.
Judy Collins, performer
Judy Collins has thrilled audiences worldwide for nearly five decades with her magnificent voice and thoughtful interpretations. Many of Collins’s albums have been certified platinum and her version of Joni Mitchell’s "Both Sides Now" has been entered into the Grammy Hall of Fame. Her rendition of Stephen Sondheim’s "Send in the Clowns" won Grammy’s Song of the Year in 1975. Judy's film about Antonia Brico, co-directed by Jill Godmillow, was nominated for an Academy Award in 1974. Brico was Judy's classical piano teacher when she was young and was the first woman to conduct major symphonies around the world. In 2000, Judy founded her own record label, Wildflower Records. In 2010 she enjoyed two huge successes with the New York Times best-selling picture books and CD version of Over the Rainbow, illustrated by Eric Puybaret, and her latest album, Paradise, a collection of ten songs, including duets with Stephen Stills and Joan Baez.
Read more about Judy Collins.
Eric Puybaret, illustrator
Eric Puybaret is the best-selling illustrator of Puff, the Magic Dragon, The Night Before Christmas, performed by Peter, Paul and Mary, as well as Over the Rainbow and When You Wish Upon a Star, both performed by Judy Collins, in addition to numerous books in his native France. His art has been called "elegantly rendered," by the New York Times; "graceful [and] whimsical," by Publishers Weekly; and "lovely...and indeed magical," by Kirkus Reviews.
Read more about Eric Puybaret.
Puybaret (Puff, the Magic Dragon) offers a beguilingly surreal interpretation of Harburg’s lyrics to the titular song, written for The Wizard of Oz. Leading into the song’s familiar chorus is a lesser-known verse describing the world as a “hopeless jumble,” portrayed in Puybaret’s acrylic paintings as a rain-soaked, windblown cityscape. Giving a nod to the film, the setting shifts to a farm, where a rainbow appears at a girl’s window to lead her to “a place behind the sun, just a step beyond the rain.” There, cloud castles smile and wave, and planets and stars look kindly on the girl, as she gracefully floats alongside exotic, long-necked bluebirds. When she returns to her barnlike home, the creatures and celestial objects from her magical journey remain, turning the wistful tenor of the closing lines (“Why, oh, why can’t I?”) into a statement of defiance that speaks to the power of imagination. Creatively meshing folk-art flourishes with an ethereal sensibility, the illustrations well match the fantasy of the lyrics. Grammy-winner Judy Collins sings the title track and two other songs on an accompanying CD. Ages 4–8. (Mar.)
School Library Journal
A musical classic inspires the creation of new images of sweeping horizons and fanciful creatures. The book includes a CD by singer Judy Collins. Her crystal-clear voice floats seamlessly through the lyrics, first as a solo, then joined by her piano accompaniment, broadening with succeeding lines and natural rhythmic interpretation of the words. Two additional songs interpreted by Collins make this brief CD a treasure—"I See the Moon" (with children's chorus) and "White Coral Bells." Readers are treated to deep jewel tones as Puybaret carefully pulls them from one image to another with a succession of dreamlike scenes—from a red barn and farmhouse to animated castles in the sky. Clouds and celestial objects float earthward to join a young girl on a journey beyond a rainbow into the upper atmosphere with dreams of impossibilities. The art is unique, delicate, and detailed. Raindrops fall with whisper-thin lines, elongated figures accentuate the hurried action and sweep of the wind, images appear in the clouds, a small child sleeps under the watchful eye of a parent amid musical notes along the path of the rainbow, and bluebirds become elongated creatures of grace. Reading this book with the CD requires awareness of traditionally repeated lines but adds to the shared experience. —Mary Elam, Learning Media Services Plano ISD, TX
Hardcover with CD
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Ages: All ages
Page count: 26
11 3/8 x 10 1/2