Hen&inkblots: A Literary Blog

Hey, Hey, Hay, Christy Mihaly!

May 14, 2018 by Erzsi Deak

Three cheers for Christy Mihaly and Joe Cepeda’s HEY, HEY, HAY!

Pass the switchel! Christy Mihaly’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)

Pub Date: Aug. 14th, 2018
ISBN: 978-0-8234-3666-8
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Holiday House
Review Posted Online: May 14th, 2018
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 2018