I Know a Shy Fellow Who Swallowed a Cello
by Barbara S. Garriel
The shy fellow, the quite one sitting off to the side of a large room
not being noticed, but wanting to fit in at any cost. The shy fellow tries swallowing musical instruments in order to
get noticed. He attempts get him noticed by the angry musicans when he takes their instruments. In the
end, he gets noticed as he bellows out musical notes when exhaling the instruments.
Barbara Garriel does a wonderful job on her predictable book that is
very similar to Nadine Bernard Westcott's I know an Old Woman who Swallowed a fly. The book is
only enhanced by John O'Brien's surreal illustrations of pen and ink drawings with watercolor wash of a man who
is changing into the shapes of the instruments that he swallows. Starting from the very large cello and ending up bellowing
after he swallows the cat's tiny cascabel. O'Brien's pictorial drawings of the changes that the shy man's
body goes through after swallowing each instrument only adds to the uproariousness of the story.
The unique mucial groups add to the plot of fitting in. The shy
fellow takes instruments from a jazz band, marching band, a country cowboy group, and a bell from a cat. All of
whom he doesn't fit in with because he's different.
"I know a shy fellow who swallowed a harp.
Not so sharp, to swallow a harp."
"I know a shy fellow who swallowed a kazoo.
Strange thing to do, swallow a kazoo."
Garriel, Barbara S. 2004. I know a Shy Fellow Who Swallowed
a Cello. Illus. by John O'Brien. Pennsylvania: Boyds Mills Press. ISNB 1-59078-043-4.