When I was little, I had a favorite book (in English, of course):
"The Bear in the Boat"
Unfortunately, it's become such a rarity that it is going for upwards of $80 on ebay these days. I have just the pages remaining in my possession, and a huge fondness for the rhyme and the illustration. Violet has inherited the same devotion to this book, so that she has every phrase memorized! We actually got her to recite it one afternoon, and got it on camera. For the sake of her delightful yet confusing "accent", I have included the transcript of the book. However, feel free to skip to the end if you are familiar with the verse.
The Bear in the boat, quite the finest afloat,
pulled up to the dock for his mail.
"I have come," he called out, to his friends all about
"To invite you to go for a sail."
The little grey mouse ran out of her house,
The cat and the dog cried, "Hooray!"
Said the snail to the cow, "You must hurry up now,
Bear says we are sailing today."
The elephant said, "I must get out of bed
and go sailing with bear in his boat."
The owl in the tree said, "Don't leave without me,
Oh, where are my hat and my coat?"
[too-whoo, are the sound-effects implanted here by my dad, and also by me. After 6 years of hearing "too-whoo," I swear, I looked at the page and thought, "What? there's no 'too-whoo??'"]
"I want to go, too," said the Good Kangaroo,
"We might see a whale out at sea."
The Lion roared, "Where is that seagoing bear?"
"This way," shouted goat, "Follow me-hehee-hehee"
[Another sound effect added by my dad....and me.]
When they got to the dock, bear was winding his clock.
"All aboard!" He exclaimed, "Time to go!"
"The ocean will ring with the songs that we'll sing
and we'll play every game that we know!"
So they all got on fast (the snail was the last)
And Owl shouted, "Anchors aweigh!"
The cow cried, "It's great that nobody was late!
We all will go sailing today!"
But what do you think? Oh, WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Bear's boat was too full and it started to sink!
So they all got out fast, the snail was still last,
and Lion said, "What happens now?"
"We should go to Owl's tree and look at the sea,
And play games and sing songs." said the Cow.
So they went to Owl's tree, Bear as brave as could be,
Though his friends wouldn't fit in his boat.
"One can sing songs on land, and the view is just grand,
When one has good friends!" said the Goat.
Their songs, sweet and clear, reached a whale swimming near,
And soon they all heard Lion shout,
"Though the party's on shore, we will soon have one more!
It's a whale, and just look at his spout!"
Whale joined them in song and the party was long,
It went on 'neath the light of the moon.
Then Bear said to Cow, "We must sing softly now,
'Twill be bedtime for all of us soon."
They sang on until all the earth became still:
Then they slept to the song of the sea.
And they dreamed of the whale, and the day they set sail
And the party held high in the tree.