Night Songs

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
At ``moontime,'' a mother asks her child to ``lie still. / Listen'' for the ``night songs.'' Beginning with the sounds of the countryside, where ``crickets chirp / their scratchy meadow melody,'' the poem describes a storm on the prairie, the ``chatter, / claw, / and squeak / deep in the forest,'' the ``raucous tune'' of the city, the ``tingling bells'' that ``croon a love song / to gulls / listening in the harbor,'' the coconut palms that ``conduct / the island's solo,'' and finally returns to the child's house where the baby, ``warm breath sighing softly . . . drifts into dreams.'' Miranda's vibrant and varied ink and paper collages are beautifully designed, with complicated textures and vivid colors; and the lyrical language combines fresh imagery with lullaby rhythms that soothe and comfort. Nonetheless, the abstract illustrations and verbiage may sometimes perplex the preschoolers for whom the book is intended, as when the coyotes in the desert seem pasted atop textured mountains as their ``haunting lyrics echo in the canyon.'' Ages 1-6. (Mar.)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-- In this quiet book, a mother describes to her child the sounds of the night in different locales--country, city, mountains, desert, sea, etc. On the last page, she encourages the little one to hum along and add a tiny harmony. The brief, lyrical text employs rich imagery: bullfrogs' tympany drums; the wind's treetop serenade; the tinny tune of the rain against an empty silo. Eleven striking collages cut from ink-textured paper provide visual companions to the verses. While the art tends to be somewhat abstract, the subjects are always clearly understood, enhanced by vivid colors and clear composition. The coyotes in the desert, the boats in the harbor, the rain on the prairie, and the cows in the meadow are particularly evocative. An effective ode to ``moontime'' that is suitable for story times or one-on-one sharing. --Cynthia K. Richey, Mt. Lebanon Public Library, Pittsburgh, PA
Quraysh Ali
This lullaby is a quiet tapestry of lyrical word pictures interwoven with visual landscapes--from the mountains, to the prairie, to the ocean (yes, white with foam). A celebration of the easy pomp and circumstance of the rising of the moon. "A stream rushes, / bubbling and babbling / while the mountain waits patiently / in stony silence for the wind to whisper / a treetop serenade: / hush, hush, hush." Miranda's words, which touch and caress like a spring breeze, are comfortable and soothing. However, what makes this book inspiring is the collage art and the moods it creates. The images jump out, almost as if three-dimensional, and surround the reader/listener in wonderful, very alive colors. Crickets stare with soft eyes under an orange moon. Beautiful mottled cows, with flesh-colored udders and noses, graze on a grassy pasture. A milky blue sky dreams lazily behind them. Read aloud, but share the artwork.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780027672503
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
  • Publication date: 3/28/1993
  • Edition description: 1st American ed
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 6 Years

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