Old MacDonald had a Woodshop
The Matzo Ball Boy
The Moon Might Be Milk

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Over in the Meadow at the Big Ballet

In this fresh spin on a classic rhyme, the big ballet is coming up, and one little swan is nervous about dancing onstage. Her teacher thinks she’s ready, but the little swan is not so sure. As the meadow bustles with preparations, she spends every spare moment practicing—but what will happen when her moment in the spotlight finally arrives?

The story behind the story
After Old MacDonald had a Woodshop was published, my editor,
Kathy Dawson, encouraged me to write another book based on a familiar rhyme or song. I took the old counting rhyme “Over in the Meadow” and gave it a ballet theme. Kathy didn’t think my version worked that well as a counting rhyme, so I went back to my notebook and began revising.

I took out the numbers and added a nervous little swan and her busy teacher, Miss Faye. Since this would no longer be a simple counting book, I had to think of a story line as well. Using my own memories at having stage fright, as well as my daughters’ experiences of their music recitals, I created the story of how a little swan overcomes her stage fright. And then I made it all rhyme!


From Kirkus Reviews:
“Charming…The whole complex range of the performance experience is packed into this seemingly simple rhyming story with an engaging text that works equally well when read or sung to the traditional tune.”

From School Library Journal:
“Both text and illustrations capture perfectly the excitement and nervousness of putting on a production.”

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Over in the Meadow
at the Big Ballet

Illustrator: Sarah Massini
G.P. Putnam’s Sons