Polish folk song tells a poetic story

By , Special to the Christian Science Monitor

Busy Monday Morning, Janina Domanska. New York: Greenwillow Books. $13. 32pp. ``Busy Monday Morning,'' written and illustrated by Janina Domanska, is a charming, modern-day version of a traditional Polish folk song.

Although written for the young child, reader and listener alike will enjoy the simple prose about the various steps of haymaking. It's a gentle story that magnifies the solid value and simplicity of everyday chores.

Father and son work side by side as the days of one week go by. On Monday they mow the hay. Then they rake it, dry it, pitch it, stack it, haul it, and finally finish Sunday morning. A strong sense of accomplishment threads through the week-long process.

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On Sunday, the rewards are evident. ``Cows ate hay that morning, Father rested and so did I, We rested well together he and I. . . .''

The phrasing of the verses invites repeating and provides a poetic, thought-catching, first exposure to poetry and verse. For the singer of song, the words are set to a beautiful tune (on the last page), transcribed with both notes and chords.

The illustrations in the book are simple and well rendered, almost stamplike in appearance. Colored in soft pastels, the pictures underscore the book's gentleness.

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