Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Subtitled "A Thai Lullaby," this atmospheric picture book gently but dynamically evokes a summer's evening, the tranquillity punctuated only by sounds wafting in on the night air. As a mother puts her baby to sleep, she becomes acutely aware of the cries and calls of nearby animals. In spirited verse, she implores each to pipe down ("Lizard, lizard,/ don't come peeping"; "White duck, white duck/ don't come beeping"; etc.). Her tender plea for quiet ("Can't you see that Baby's sleeping?") creates a melodious refrain at the center of the text. By book's end the mother and all the animals are sleeping-Baby, of course, is wide-awake. Departing from the torn-paper technique of her previous books, Meade (Small Green Snake) uses cut paper and ink to produce intriguing textures, layers and shapes, from the woven straw mats beneath the baby's hammock to the luxuriant green forest where a noisy elephant walks. Red-ink outlines add a bold touch to figures and accentuate the varied angles and perspectives. Children will find the animal sounds fascinating-a Thai mouse says "Jeed-jeed," a frog belches "op-op" while an elephant trumpets "hoom-praa"-perfect for trying out loud. Both soothing and stimulating. Ages 2-6. (Mar.)
Children's Literature - Carolyn Mott Ford
This is a bedtime story featuring the creatures and sounds of the Thailand countryside. It is a lilting tale of a tired mother trying to quiet the animals so baby will sleep. After she finally succeeds in silencing the sounds of the evening, the exhausted mother falls asleep. Who is the only one wide-awake? Any parent knows the answer. Baby is awake, looking wide eyed at the world around him.
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
PreS-KA mother, having just put her toddler to sleep, says "Hush!" to a succession of noises around her and finds out which animal is making each sound. Eventually, she hushes her whole environment and falls asleep as her baby awakens. Ho's rhymed, repetitive, onomatopoetic text employs the question-and-answer format of Bill Martin's classic Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? (Holt, 1967), creating a lullaby without music. The lilting sounds, variety of wildlife (monkeys, water buffalo, elephant, etc.), and illustrations firmly anchor this mood piece in northern Thailand. Pictures combine cut paper, ink line, and watercolor in a lush, yet successfully somnolent atmosphere of browns and greens. The art greatly amplifies the text with warmth and humor as the mother makes her rounds ensuring her child's peace. A delightful, reassuring bedtime book with a unique setting.John Philbrook, San Francisco Public Library
From the author of A Clay Marble (1991), a charming, repetitive rhyme (subtitled "A Thai Lullaby") in which a mother shushes all the creatures, from a tiny mosquito to a huge elephant, in and around her thatch-roofed house so that her baby can sleep in the blue cloth hammock. However, sharp-eyed readers will notice that each time the mother's back is turned, the child climbs out of the hammock to play. At the end, everyone, including the unsuspecting mother, is asleepbut not the baby! Exceptionally beautiful cut-paper-and-ink illustrations in earth tones use the varied textures of the paper to wonderful effect, depicting traditional Thai textiles, basketry, and building styles. All of young children's favorite elements are here: a reassuringly predictable, rhyming text, animals and their sounds, a mischievous subplot in the pictures, and an ever-so-slightly naughty child who fools everyone in the end. A sure winner.