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Last Song
     

Last Song

by Eric Rohmann (Illustrator), James Guthrie
 

Beautiful watercolor paintings add rich layers of mood and feeling to an old Scottish poem, depicting a squirrel family spending the day together—waking, playing, and nestling down to sleep under the eye of watchful parent. An eye-catching die-cut cover and a size perfect for small hands make an irresistible gift for mothers, fathers, and families on any

Overview

Beautiful watercolor paintings add rich layers of mood and feeling to an old Scottish poem, depicting a squirrel family spending the day together—waking, playing, and nestling down to sleep under the eye of watchful parent. An eye-catching die-cut cover and a size perfect for small hands make an irresistible gift for mothers, fathers, and families on any occasion.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Late Scottish poet and artist Guthrie's spare ode to the heavens ("To the sun/ Who has shone/ All day,/ To the moon/ Who has gone/ Away,/ To the milk-white/ Silk-white/ Lily-white star,/ A fond goodnight/ Wherever you are") provides the framework for Caldecott Medalist Rohmann's (My Friend Rabbit) visual narrative about a family of squirrels. Rohmann's watercolors picture the playful squirrels, with which active siblings will readily identify, racing down their tree and tumbling around, before being called back by a (presumed) parent. The diminutive book ends as it begins, with the squirrels sleeping in a cluster, a reminder that another day's adventures aren't far away. Ages 3–6. (Sept.)
From the Publisher

“This small, square book, just the size for tiny hands to hold, features a die-cut cover that offers an appealing glimpse into the adventure that lies ahead.” —The Cleveland Plain-Dealer

“A die-cut front cover provides an inviting gateway to an idyll that will tempt viewers to linger.” —Starred, Kirkus Reviews

“The brevity and calmness of the words make this a good just-one-more book at bedtime, and the depictions of the circle of family love and the cycle of the day will inspire many just-one-more kisses before the lights go out.” —Booklist

“A gorgeous play of light carefully tends to the day's progression, alternating wordless scenes with those accompanied by a single line of text. The variety of perspectives adds to the depth of this small book's paintings, which honor the Scottish author's verse.” —School Library Journal

Children's Literature - Lois Rubin Gross
A spare poem by a nineteenth-century Scottish poet is the basis for this charming, playful bedtime book for the youngest listeners. Three playful squirrels scurry like energetic children through their day's play. They scramble up and around their tree home, salute the sun in the green meadow, wrestle and roll and, finally, energy expended, they return home to cuddle with each other and sleep. Their day's activities are determined by the appearance of the sun, moon, and stars and, just like the small children for whom this book is designed, when the day plays out, so do the squirrels. The creatures are frolicsome and adorable with huge, expressive eyes. The text is minimal and many pages are wordless, but the squirrels at play effortlessly tell the story. The darkening sky and the twinkling stars tell animals and children that it is time to go to bed. This book from Rohmann, a Caldecott Honor winner for Time Flies, is bound to be a bedtime favorite, and clear proof that it does not take many words to create a winning collaboration of art and poetry. Reviewer: Lois Rubin Gross
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—Readers peek through the thick cover's cut-out of a heavily leafed oak tree to spy a mother with two young squirrels, all bundled in sleep as dawn breaks. Guthrie (1874–1952) wrote the four line poem that serves as the entire text: "To the sun/Who has shone/All day,/To the moon/Who has gone/Away,/To the milk-white/Silk-white/lily-white star,/A fond goodnight/Wherever you are." Rohmann glides the squirrels from treetops to tumble, limb frolic, then star gaze. A gorgeous play of light carefully tends to the day's progression, alternating wordless scenes with those accompanied by a single line of text. The variety of perspectives adds to the depth of this small book's paintings, which honor the Scottish author's verse.—Gay Lynn Van Vleck, Henrico County Library, Glen Allen, VA
Kirkus Reviews

Rohmann sets a short lullaby from an early-20th-century poet and printer to brushy watercolor scenes of a family of lightly anthropomorphized, bright-eyed squirrels frisking about a grassy, sunlit glade before returning to their cozy nest to sleep. Because the text is so brief that many spreads have just a single word—or none at all—this reads like a short film captured on paper, its pacing governed by the timing of page turns. The poem may be brief, but Guthrie's language is simply gorgeous: "To the milk-white / Silk-white / Lily-white star, / A fond goodnight / Wherever you are." The book's wee trim—it's a snug seven-by-seven–inch square—emphasizes the intimacy of both words and art. The illustrator has done this sort of thing before, of course, most notably in his Caldecott-winning My Friend Rabbit (2002); here the art is lighter in line and color but just as joyful. A die-cut front cover provides an inviting gateway to an idyll that will tempt viewers to linger. (Picture book. 3-5)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781596435087
Publisher:
Roaring Brook Press
Publication date:
09/14/2010
Pages:
28
Product dimensions:
7.68(w) x 11.06(h) x 0.36(d)
Age Range:
3 - 6 Years

Meet the Author

Scottish-born JAMES GUTHRIE (1874–1952) was an artist, typographer, printer, and poet.

ERIC ROHMANN won the Caldecott Medal for My Friend Rabbit, and a Caldecott Honor for Time Flies. He is also the author and illustrator of Clara and Asha, A Kitten Tale, and The Cinder-Eyed Cats, among other books for children. He has created book jackets for a number of novels, including His Dark Materials, by Philip Pullman.

Rohmann was born in Riverside, Illinois, in 1957. He grew up in Downers Grove, a suburb of Chicago. As a boy, he played Little League baseball, read comic books, and collected rocks and minerals, insects, leaves, and animal skulls.

Rohmann has his BS in Art and an MS in Studio Art from Illinois State University, and an MFA in Printmaking/Fine Bookmaking from Arizona State University. He also studied Anthropology and Biology. He taught printmaking, painting, and fine bookmaking at Belvoir Terrace in Massachusettes and introductory drawing, fine bookmaking, and printmaking at St. Olaf College in Minnesota.

He lives in a suburb of Chicago.

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