Three cheers for Christy Mihaly and Joe Cepeda’s HEY, HEY, HAY!
A rhyming tale of hay, from field to bale.
In a twist on traditional work roles, this mother-daughter team tackles the job of harvesting hay. They start by cutting it (“Mower blades slice through the grass. / A new row falls with every pass. / Stalks and stems are scattered ’round. / The scents of new-mown plants abound”). Then they use the tedder to aerate the pieces. After that, the hay dries under the warm sun. This gives the mother and daughter time to gulp a mug of switchel—a refreshing gingery drink (recipe included)—and nibble a piece of cake. Then the narrative reaches the part of the process most recognizable to young tots: rolling the hay into huge, circular mounds. Debut picture-book author Mihaly shares the true secret of hay bales—a tiny bit of summer is trapped inside each one, ready to burst out when opened on a winter’s day. Snappy, economic rhymes capture the entire process of a far-from-oft-told farm chore, while Cepeda’s oil-over-acrylic medium heightens the muddied, earthy environment. Mother and daughter are depicted with olive skin and straight, dark-brown hair.
Even urban readers will cheer; in fact, the title commands it. (glossary) (Informational picture book. 3-6)