There's a Hole in the Log on the Bottom of the Lake
by Long, Loren (ILT)

An adaptation of the traditional folk song, "There's a Hole in the Bottom of the Sea," with additional repetition and tongue twisters. Includes sheet music.

Loren Long grew up in Lexington, Kentucky. He pursued graduate-level studies at the American Academy of Art in Chicago after graduating with a BA in Graphic Design/Art Studio from the University of Kentucky. After graduation, Long worked as an illustrator for a greeting card company in Cincinnati before beginning his career as a freelance illustrator. Since then, Long has received numerous accolades for his fluid WPA painting style. He has been awarded two gold medals from the Society of Illustrators in New York, and has been frequently selected for their annual exhibition and book. His work has also appeared in many other major annual exhibitions held by such prestigious journals and magazines as American Illustration, Communication Arts, Step-By-Step Graphics and Print.Long&;s clients include Time, Reader&;s Digest, Forbes, the Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, Boy&;s Life, Land&;s End, Sports Illustrated, and HBO. He has also illustrated book covers for numerous publishers and has recently concentrated on illustrating books for young readers, where his work has garnered much recognition and praise.

A familiar cumulative folk song gets a mild tweak. This time, the setting is a lake floor. "There's a hole in the log on the bottom of the lake"; "There's a frog in the hole in the log on the bottom of the lake"; and so on. It's better sung than recited, and musical notation can be found at the end. On the frog is a hair (one corkscrew curl growing upward), and then a fly on the hair, and then a gnat on the fly. The underwater atmosphere is dark green, with brown, beige, and lighter greens. Long's acrylic-and-colored-pencil illustrations are an odd mix of styles: The frog is cartoony, especially when grinning and licking its lips in anticipation of a fly-gnat feast, whereas members of a school of goldfish are delicate and luminescent. The climax is a sudden "uh-oh. Chomp, snap, gulp!"—with an intriguing partial ambiguity about exactly who gets chomped. Throughout, a tiny snail and turtle provide wry counterpoint to the verse's formal structure. The turtle offers comment ary, sometimes amusing (when the song uses the lyric "hole," he asks, "A whole what? It just looks empty to me"), sometimes confusing (he punnily grumps that someone must be "too cool for school" when, at that moment, the accused snail is joining a school of fish), and slapstick humor ("Dial 911! Turtle on its back! Emergency! Turtle freaking out!"). A serviceable contribution to cumulative-song collections or surprise-ending collections. (musical notation, song lyrics) (Picture book. 3-7) Copyright Kirkus 2018 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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