In this splendidly designed bedtime book, folksinger Paxton ( Birds of a Feather ; Engelbert the Elephant ) winds down the preschool crowd and sets the mood for slumber with tranquil verses featuring an array of animals heading for home at the close of day--``White swans are gliding, / Feathers as soft as snow. / Gently they lead their young ones / Back where the rushes grow.'' Paxton's roll call extends beyond the usual farmyard roundup to such less familiar critters as otters, foxes, tropical fish and porcupines. Later, the sandman appears, and the story ends with a pair of children sleeping in a cozy farmhouse bathed in moonlight. Ingraham makes the most of the irresistible imagery with a series of naturalistic illustrations set against a twilight palette of plums, cool blues and mossy greens. Youngsters will delight in the sweet security of this soothing, orderly world where everyone has a place, and all are snug, warm and ``safe in the arms of night.'' Endpapers feature the musical notation--for those who prefer to sing instead of read. Ages 3-up. (May)
School Library Journal
PreS-- Paxton's original lullaby-cum-folksong sings of woodland animals and pets, birds, fish, and children settling down to sleep. The brief refrain wishes a good night to each. A short verse about each animal--mare, dove, otter, chipmunk, swan, porcupine, etc.--is accompanied by a soft, full-page, detailed realistic acrylic painting. Very young children will delight in hearing the words as they take in the reassuring illustrations. Older children will enjoy learning and singing the verses. Music is included on the endpapers. Lovely new bedtime fare for families to share. --Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH
Folksinger Paxton offers a soothing lullaby, guaranteed to calm the most rambunctious youngster. Verse by verse, the animals prepare themselves for sleep. Gray mares run home to their stalls, chipmunks burrow under mossy stones, and porcupines cuddle their prickly heads. Finally, as "Red sun is setting-- / Colors across the sky. / Evening is slowly falling, / Sandman is coming by," some children fall asleep under their patched quilts, too. Ingraham's vibrant acrylic artwork portrays lifelike animals in their natural settings. Particularly effective is the painting that shows a running sandman hidden in the coppery clouds at sunset. The music has been included on the mauve end papers, making this a perfect pick for a bedtime performance. Creative-writing classes may be interested in mimicking the pattern of the poetry as well.