“Howdi Do” by Woody Guthrie with pictures by Vladimir Radunsky

This is my FAVORITE book to use with young children during the very first days of school.  If you purchase the hardback edition the melody is in the jacket cover.  Each verse sets up different scenarios in which people say hello to each other.  This book is filled with well wishes and camaraderie.  My favorite portion of the lyrics is when we sing “I feel glad when you feel good, you brighten up my neighborhood”.  What a sweet thing to sing to each other!

Typically, because I use this book at the beginning of the year in kindergarten and first grade, I sing the verses and they join me on the fun tongue twister chorus.  I typically sing it unaccompanied at first because the chorus is super fun to sing but a real doozy of a mouthfull. We have a chance to shake hands with the folks sitting nearby and we talk about the book.  There are two things in this book that your students will love!
1. the dog – he makes an appearance on every page
2. the twins – there are several pair of twins
The chorus that we all sing together goes something like this….. (my copy is at school ready for the first day….. so I’m typing from memory)
Howjee Heejee Hijee Hojee Howdi do sir doodle doo
Howdi doogle doodle doozie Howdi Do Howdi Do
Howjee Hojee Heejee Hijee Howdi Do
Especially with the young ones I try really hard to include a “song book” in essentially every music lesson.  Sometimes if we are adding instruments or dramatizing the book, then the book is the lesson, but equally as often, the book is just a book that we sing.  I read this book after we’ve had a full lesson of musical play and we don’t have time to introduce a new idea, but there is just enough time to listen to a story or read a book.  They love it and ask for it again and again…..
We should never underestimate the power of just plain old singing together!  Sometimes the song is the soup that holds the whole meal together! 🙂
Ya’ll have a great school year!