Andrea Spalding has done us the service of blending a nursery rhyme and a nursery tale to come up with something quite new and intriguing.
The starting point is the rhymed quoted in the title. Little Girl is quite upset by the rain, which has made it impossible to go out and play. her mother explains it with the rhyme, in which the Old Man is in bead with a cold in his head.
That’s all the little girl needs to know. She’s off to the basement. Dressed for the weather, he grabs a ladder, and climbs up though the house into the clouds and up to the land where a giant lies in bed with a thermometer in his mouth.
The illness diagnosed, she heads home for a cure, which includes a wheelbarrow full of honey and lemon drink, lots of cookies and a hot water bottle. The trip back up the ladder is a wonder.
The medicine delivered, the giant gets better, the girl goes home, takes off her rain gear and heads outside to &em; but that would be telling.
So, you see, we’ve got a play on the rhyme as well a friendly version of Jack and the Beanstalk, lots of amusing events and some very nice fantasy illustrations by the artist, Watts.
Andrea Spalding is currently living with her husband, David, at Berton House, where they are the first writing couple to take up the residency.