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by Elaine Greenstein

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Beginning with "Ten/ silent houses,/ everyone sleeping" and ending with a lone swan and a wish for "sweet dreams," this quietly beguiling counting book is handsomely designed and illustrated. Each painting floats on a midnight blue background, as does the accompanying minimal text (in a sophisticated touch, the text and the corresponding numeral form a diamond shape). Each page previews the forthcoming number. For example, the painting of "nine/ trees bending/ in windy yards" includes eight scattered leaves; on the next page, these are featured as "eight/ leaves airborne,/ whirling, swirling." Greenstein's (Mrs. Rose's Garden) text is lilting and serene, but the enchanting, dreamlike paintings steal the show. As in Van Gogh's Starry Night, the moon radiates a whirlpool of blues, and curling eddies of light fill the night sky. Following the "countdown to sleep," the book includes a double-page painting of all the things previously seen--10 houses, six fish, three foxes, etc. Oddly, the new landscape rearranges the initial objects, so that trees and newly redecorated houses appear in different places than when first shown. Nonetheless, "almost sleeping" children will find the moon's mysterious face comforting and radiant, almost like a guardian angel. Ages 3-7. (Mar.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Children's Literature - Children's Literature
The dreamy watercolors in deep hues draw the eye to the page. With each nighttime scene, we learn to count similar objects. Ten silent houses are also accompanied by ten tall trees. Nine trees lean against the night winds. Eight dancing leaves swirl in the misty air. Seven stars make the ocean glow, while six fish leap to catch them. Five rain clouds replenish four ripe peaches. Three thirsty foxes lap up the stream. Two water lilies glide along the water, while one lone swan hugs the moon. All join to make one enchanting picture of a moonlit night perfect for sleeping. Readers of all ages will have sweet dreams if they allow the scene to linger in their imaginations. 2000, Scholastic, Ages 3 to 6, $15.95. Reviewer: Leslie Julian
School Library Journal
PreS-K-Text and illustrations float through midnight-blue pages that set the mood for this bedtime counting book. From "Ten silent houses" to "One lone swan curling into the moon," each spread highlights a scene in the outside world. The minimal text features a number set in stars opposite a gouache-overlaid monoprint. The countdown ends with a tableau that brings each named object into a wordless moonlit scene. The final words, "Here you are, almost sleeping-/Sweet dreams," are paired with a cozy bedroom backdrop. Each of the scenes contains a visual hint of what comes next, and the drowsy child's quilt squares depict the objects counted. Greenstein uses a sketchier style than that in Matzo Ball Moon (Clarion, 1998) to great effect. This quiet, intimate book is a possible choice for small nighttime storyhours, but will be put to best use at home. The dreamy, moon-dappled illustrations and the very simple text will spin a spell on all but the most nocturnal listeners.-Sue Sherif, Fairbanks North Star Borough Public Library, AK Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|

Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Fiction Picture Book Series
Product dimensions:
9.22(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.38(d)
Age Range:
3 - 7 Years

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