Shake My Sillies Out


32 pages
ISBN 0-517-56647-8
DDC jC811'.54





Illustrations by David Allender
Reviewed by Jean Free

Jean Free, a library consultant, was an elementary-school teacher and
librarian in Whitby, Ontario.


Originally published in hardcover, Raffi’s delightful and popular
Songs to Read series is now available in paperback.

Down by the Bay is a funny, rhythmical song about two friends who try
to top each other in making ridiculous rhymes. The humorous
illustrations by Nadine Westcott (who also illustrated The Raffi
Christmas Treasury) complement the words of the song very well.

One Light, One Sun is about a loving world where everyone shares and
lives together in harmony. Its creative illustrations, by well-known
Toronto writer and picture-book artist Eugenie Fernandes, include
rainbows, grandmothers lovingly holding babies, children in wheelchairs,
multicultural homes, and fathers who get up for late-night feedings.

Shake My Sillies Out tells the story of three restless animals (a bear,
a squirrel, and a rabbit) who join a group of children camping in the
woods in a happy evening of “shaking their sillies out / clapping
their sillies out” and finally “yawning their sillies out” as they
fall asleep. The illustrations by David Allender add a fun dimension and
young Canadians will appreciate the pictorial references to blue jays
and Mariposa forest.

Wheels on the Bus is a seven-verse song illustrated with cartoon-like
drawings by Sylvie Wickstrom. Its bilingual signs (boulangerie, autobus)
make it a particularly appropriate book for young Canadians.

All of the books are provided with guitar and piano music on the final
pages. Pre-school and early-primary children will enjoy the repetition
and predictability of the songs. This series makes a pleasant
introduction to reading.


Raffi., “Shake My Sillies Out,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 20, 2024,