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Over at the Castle
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Over at the Castle

3.74  ·  Rating Details ·  249 Ratings  ·  50 Reviews
In this clever reworking of the classic folk song “Over in the Meadow,” readers meet villagers who spent their day spinning, cleaning, cooking, dancing, and more. The text counts up from one baby dragon to ten court jesters, and kids will enjoy counting along with each of the characters as they go about their daily work. At the end of the day, all the villagers look out th ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published March 1st 2010 by Abrams Books for Young Readers
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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May 14, 2017 Cheryl rated it liked it
I'm so tired of using the word 'cute' in my reviews. But then, I'm tired of picture-books that are cute and not much more. I like the details in the pictures here, and I like the easy to read verse narrative, but there's not really much going on.

And, I have to admit, I'm a bit concerned about the prisoner. He even gets title page billing! Poor old guy... he looks like he should be a grandpa, not a prisoner....
Jan 16, 2015 Matthew rated it it was amazing
We need more books by Boni Ashburn. She keeps knocking them out of the park with her medieval themes connected with children's songs. My son loves that there is a rhyming to the words that go along so well with the characters. And the subtle adult theme of what the dragons are really after and that castle life is not all sing-song makes it fun for the adult reader as well.
Sep 02, 2014 Serena rated it it was amazing
Over at the Castle is a story that follows the ordinary day of all the inhabitants at the palace. A mother dragon and her baby start the story, watching the people around them as they laze in the field. You are introduced to several other people along the way, each doing various tasks that would come into play in a regular day. The interesting way that the story is done is by telling this ordinary day in the way of a song that we all know. "Over in the Meadow".

I just recently finished reading
Jun 08, 2016 Stephanie rated it liked it
Shelves: ed-230h, poetry
Everyone is busy at the castle, except for two dragons who are waiting for the right moment. Throughout the day, the younger dragon frequently asks if it is the right time and the older dragon continually says they must wait. Finally, night has fallen and it is the right time...for fireworks! This book is illustrated with acrylic, oil, and gel medium. I enjoyed reading this book because I wasn’t sure what the dragons were up to. I feared they would become the villains of the book and I was pleas ...more
Patti Richards
Nov 08, 2011 Patti Richards rated it it was amazing
I'm a little late getting my picture book pick out for today, but I want to give three big cheers to Michigan author Boni Ashburn for her book, "Over at the Castle." This rhyming picture book tells the story of a mother dragon and her baby, waiting for night to fall so they can "visit" the neighboring castle in the way only a dragon could! "Over at the Castle" uses a familiar story-telling format by taking the reader through the castle, adding one person at a time and telling about their special ...more
Oct 29, 2011 Jill rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children, picture, dragons
We loved the illustrations and the counting story (1-10) in rhyme. I'd never heard "Over in the Meadow" but once I found the lyrics and melody, I could easily see the inspiration for this book. The illustrations, done in muted tones, still manage to capture a vibrant castle life complete with dragons. I love using this to talk about a subject matter that is mostly new to my daughter (it's a nice change from another book about farms, jungles or school) and she has plenty of questions! Another poi ...more
This is a cute story about a mother dragon and her baby and what happens at a nearby castle. The two dragons are preparing for something, we know not what, and are waiting for the right moment. In the meantime, we see what goes on inside the castle.

The dragons can be seen in the background peeking over walls and the like while the townspeople go about their business. This cute and comical but also helps create an air of suspense. It was also the thing my son enjoyed most about the book. I will n
Jul 05, 2011 Vivian rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
In the spirit of the traditional song "Over In the Meadow", the Ashburn & Murphy team offer up their Medieval version. Mother dragon admonishes her one baby to have "patience!", two guards "watch!", three little lords "romp", four servants "hustle", a prisoner and his five pet rats "plan", six chefs "saute`", seven weavers "spin", eight guests "eat and drink", nine knights are "ready!", ten jesters "juggle", and finally the dragon family "Whoooooshhhhh"--producing a fireworks display in the ...more
Ms. Barry
May 13, 2014 Ms. Barry rated it it was ok
On one hand, the illustrations are fun to scan to see what the dragons are up to while the castle going ons are happening. On the other hand, they are inconsistent. On one hand, the rhyme shows a bit of what went on in a castle. On the other hand, the language is a little complex at times for a visiting library class with a range of vocab.... which leads to my conclusion. A good book for one on one, cozy, castle & dragon reading and character seeking.
I love how on the very last page, the prisoner is running away in the background. The illustrations are nice but the flow of the text needs help.
Aug 20, 2012 Kelsey rated it liked it
Age: Preschool - Kindergarten
Gradually increasing numbers (Over in the Meadow)

A bit longer with some really great poetic metre (although it is forced twice). Although the description of castle life include cooks, jugglers, knights, servants, guards, and more, the listeners' interest is held by two dragons waiting patiently outside for a reason untold until the end.
This follow up to Hush Little Dragon, is decidedly less carnivorous, and does lack some of the previous book's glee. It is still a lot of fun and will probably suit younger kids whose parent's might be put off by so many people getting eaten in the previous book. Still, an enjoyable, if somewhat uneven medieval themed variation on over in the meadow.
Jul 13, 2011 Ina rated it it was amazing
Shelves: storytime-reads
This was also a great hit with my storytime audience! It is a counting book, it has a mother dragon and her impatient and adorable baby dragon, it has beautifully rich and detailed illustrations. It has a wonderful ending. This provided a great visual for young kids about life in a medieval castle and we had great fun counting and discussing just what the baby dragon was waiting to do.
Aug 25, 2011 Sheri rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Ellen, Emma, Shauna, Judy, Lindsey
Recommended to Sheri by: PB class
Cute story rhyming verse to go along with Over in the Meadow song. The animals and people of the royal court are spinning, cleaning, cooking and dancing until they receive a surprise at the end from their dragon neighbors. Interesting rhyme and recollection of the song that it is based on. Cute elementary story to read with or after singing Over in the Meadow.
Jul 07, 2010 Dee rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
This book is set to the classic folk melody "Over the Meadow," it is a counting tale with a big surprise ending. The illustrator does an excellent job. The story has everything a folk tale should have. Castles, knights, motes, and even a prisoner who shares his space with his five pet rats. The best though being an impatient little dragon. Great story with a happy ending.
Feb 19, 2011 Sara rated it it was amazing
We really enjoyed this sweet little book. The artwork is enchanting and the kids loved a story about dragons and castle life that was just enough technical to be interesting, written well enough to be enjoyable on the ears and quickly paced enough to be engaging. Sweet book. Looking forward to more like it.
Aug 07, 2013 Belle rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-books
So enchanting! I love the illustrations to death, the medieval setting, and especially the poetry. The story, you ask? It reads like a limerick: nonsensical, entertaining, and light-hearted. Not sure that I don't want to take it home and put it on my shelf.
May 18, 2012 Amy rated it liked it
Shelves: reading-rainbow
Reading Rainbow: Rumpelstiltskin

ANOTHER retelling of Over in the Meadow (which the world does NOT need) but actually this one was better than many that I've read as they reduced the repetition in the lines. I am sure castle/knight/dragon obsessed children would love it.
Msjennifers Corner
Jan 16, 2014 Msjennifers Corner rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book very much. I sang it because I know the "over in the meadow" tune. The reason I didn't give this one 5 stars is because the language can be a little hard for little ones, that the tune attracts, to understand.
Feb 12, 2013 Barbara rated it it was ok
Shelves: picture-books
Meh. It might take me a few more readings to appreciate this? I just didn't understand the story seemed sort of haphazard like the author was looking for scenes to jam into the song form. Children who love castles and knights might get a kick out of it. I just didn't.
Aug 01, 2015 Katie rated it liked it
Over in the meadow is not my favorite song, but the the dragon interruptions were fun. The anticipation building up doesn't have the greatest payoff, but it's a pretty cute idea. I was a big fan of the last page :D
Using the classic song, "Over in the Meadow" as a framework, this counting book includes dragons, knights, and other stock medieval characters. Some rhymes work better than others, but the cute baby dragon will appeal to young readers.
Apr 05, 2010 Molly rated it really liked it
Just like Hush Little Dragon, this one is fun to read or sing. The images are visually rich, and great for little knights and dragon lovers.
Mar 29, 2012 Emily rated it it was amazing
Counting rhyme, boys really liked, nice pictures, dragons
August 23, 2010
Mar 31, 2010 Tara rated it liked it
Rhyming (though not always natural) story of a kingdom and its dragons. Too long and awkward for storytime.
Dec 10, 2010 Whitaker rated it really liked it
A really great book shows us how love is great and worth to die for
May 03, 2010 Rachel rated it liked it
Fun play on an old song. Illustrations are densely colored and rich. Some of the rhyme meter is not on point.
Katie Fitzgerald
Nov 07, 2011 Katie Fitzgerald rated it really liked it
Read at Preschool Story Time on 11/7/11:
Feb 26, 2015 Holly rated it really liked it
Shelves: story-time-2015
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Boni Ashburn is the author of seven picture books, including Hush, Little Dragon and I Had A Favorite Dress. Boni lives in the Upper Peninsula Of Michigan with her four children and too many bookshelves to count.

*Please note: I give 5 stars to books I adore and MUST own, 4 stars to books that will stay with me in some way and that I almost-adore, and 3 stars to books I like. Two stars might be boo
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