In the back of beyond, a girl sets out for the schoolbus stop, a good long cross-country hike away. It's winter. The snow nearly tops her boots; the fog of her breath streams behind her. It's still dark, artfully evoked by the deep inkiness of Morstad's night sky (played off against luminescent birch trunks and dazzled by a pair of red mittens and a yellow lunchbox) and Woodward's verse: "I don't allow myself to stop / to look between the trees, / to peer at shapes that shift and hide / where it's too dark to see." The pictures and text follow her as she wends over hill and hollow, breaking into song to keep the specters at bay and stave off cold. The tingly spookiness of the rural dark is slowly, gently beveled as the story takes on the dawn, as the girl passes a farm getting its day under way in the early hours, the lights of the bus cutting through the remnants of night. Night can be a very alien world, but this beckoning book is like an invitation to come walk there. (Picture book. 4-8)
Singing Away the Darkby Caroline Woodward, Julie Morstad
Now available in a new, jacketed, large format special edition! On a dark winter’s morning a little girl has to trudge a mile to catch the school bus. Will she be able to sing her way through the shadows? Lilting rhyming text by Caroline Woodward and stunning paintings by multiple award-winning illustrator Julie Morstad herald an era when singing away the dark was part of a six-year-old’s rural school-going routine.
The original edition of Singing Away the Dark (Simply Read Books, 2010) was a finalist for the 2011 Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Prize, the 2010-2011 Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator's Award, the 2011 Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Award (Picture Book category), and the 2011-2012 Chocolate Lily Award (Picture Book category). It was also a 2012 Best Books for Kids and Teens selection by the Canadian Children's Book Centre.
- Simply Read Books
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 7.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.40(d)
- Age Range:
- 4 - 8 Years
Read an Excerpt
From Singing Away the Dark by Caroline Woodward, with illustrations by Julie Morstad:
When I was six and went to school,
I walked a long, long way...
I leave my house, so nice and warm,
on a windy winter's day.
I walk alone down our long hill.
Then home is out of sight.
I take a breath and stand up tall
and grip my lunch pail tight...
Meet the Author
Caroline Woodward is the author of novels and short stories for adults and picture books and novellas for children. She works as a lighthouse keeper on British Columbia's west coast when she isn't writing books. For more info, please visit www.carolinewoodward.ca.
Julie Morstad is known for her surreal, whimsical work. Her books have garnered many accolades, including the Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Picture Book Award, Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award, Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Prize at the BC Book Prizes, and First Prize at the Alcuin Society Awards for Excellence in Book Design; they have been shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Children’s Illustration, Foreword Reviews’ Book of the Year Award, Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator’s Award, Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Award (Picture Book Category), and Chocolate Lily Award (Picture Book Category). She lives in Vancouver, Canada.
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