In a simple narrative featuring intermittent rhyme, Burmingham's (Cloudland) quirky lullaby introduces a handful of weary characters. A cat with a stroller has "had a hard day and/ now needs a place for/ her kittens to stay./ Hushabye." A baby has "been sailing/ a boat on the sea/ and now needs to sleep./ Hushabye." Also ready to rest are three travel-weary valise-toting bears climbing a staircase, a fatigued fish and "the man in the moon,/ he'll be sound asleep soon," sprawled out on his crescent. The text and ingenuous, inventively layered artwork reveal the sleeping spot each selects, which range from rather conventional (the cat family cuddles together in a hayloft) to outlandish (the baby curls up all alone in a tiny boat, floating on a pink sea). Realistic pen-and-ink drawings appear underneath the text, complementing the vividly hued, droll illustrations opposite. In the end, Burningham effectively draws readers into his tale, concluding on a soothing note with words that beg to be whispered: "Your head's on the pillow./ You'll soon be asleep./ Hushabye/ hushabye/ hush." Ages 3-7. (Oct.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
One could almost wish for music to accompany this appealing picture book. On second thought, perhaps music isn't necessary, for the text is lyrical in itself. The words flow in a soothing rhyme that will lull even confirmed night owls to sleep. A cat with three kittens, a goose in the sky, a baby on a boat at sea, and even the man in the moon are weary at the end of a long day. The author puts them each to bed with the promise of a new day to come. There is only a single page that interrupts this rhythm of settling a child for the night. Each two-page spread is illustrated with a small pencil sketch detailing the day's activities and one full-page color illustration. The rendering of the characters is gentle and coaxes the child to "Hushabye. Hushabye. Hushabye." Children and parents alike will find the suggestion irresistible. 2000, Borzoi/Alfred A. Knopf, $16.99 and $14.95. Ages 2 to 5. Reviewer: Stephanie Farrow
PreS-Considerable talent and artistry are needed to make such a simple book work so well. Toddlers will love the fanciful situations (a mother cat pushing kittens in a stroller, the "-three tired bears who are climbing the stairs") and the refrain, "Hushabye," in this gently spoken lullaby. Bits of torn paper are incorporated into the paintings, adding texture and interest to the expressive creatures and their surroundings. In a characteristic touch, a full-page picture on the right is matched by a smaller, complementary drawing on the left. The only deviation from this pattern comes in the middle of the book, where a double-page spread with green blobs of trees, sleeping white cows, and a deep red sky create the setting for the refreshingly straightforward verse: "Now we are tired,/we need to lie down./It's time to sleep for the night./When morning comes,/we will wake up again./Tomorrow will be a new day." It all strikes a restful and dreamlike chord, and provides a perfect invitation to sleep.-Lauralyn Persson, Wilmette Public Library, IL Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Child Magazine Best Book of 2001 Pick
A sleepy cast of characters (a cat, the man in the moon, and more) all need a place to rest. Accompanied by dreamy images, the lyrical tale is capped by a tranquil final refrain: "Hushabye hushabye hush."
Gently changing rhythms and drifting into and out of rhyme, the author of countless toddler favorites enjoins pajama-clad tots to follow a trio of kittens, a drowsy baby, three tired bears, and other weary creatures down to slumberland. The art is a mix of ink drawings and cut or torn paper shapes placed against solid colors; the lines of large type will be visible in dim light (always an issue with bedtime read-alouds), and the murmurous conclusion-"You are tucked up in bed. / Your toes are all warm, / You're out of the wind and the rain. / Your head's on the pillow. / You'll soon be asleep. / HUSHABYE / HUSHABYE / HUSH"-will seal the deal most effectively. Sleep tight. (Picture book. 2-5)