The familiar song "Rock-a-bye Baby" begins this book. Then the book follows with ten verses to the same tune. The baby goes with his teddy bear on an adventure down a creek, through valley and hill, through trees, to mountains covered with snow, and back home to his mother's side. The illustrations are a mixture of watercolors and collage. Items like an afghan, material, hair, feathers, sticks, rocks, and other objects are used to create a textured world for the baby. This book would be perfect for a mother to sing to her child while her child is still an infant. Toddlers will enjoy looking at the pictures and finding the baby and the bear in different scenes throughout the book. Music and verses are provided in the back of the book. 2004, Charlesbridge, Ages 3 mo. to 4.
Marcie Flinchum Atkins
PreS-In this expanded version of the familiar nursery rhyme, each new verse follows the pattern of the original. While tension exists in the traditional rhyme, Adlerman ignores all sense of peril. The cradle lands safely, immediately slides into a stream, and is carried away (unbeknownst to Mom, who's busy reading). After a brief nap, baby awakens to find his teddy bear, which is his size, in his lap. They amble on without a care until birds carry the cradle back past the mountain to Mom. Despite the author's efforts to lull readers into a sense of security, children won't fall for the ruse. The monotony and sticky sweet sentimentality of the text create an experience that is both dull and artificial. The arts-and-crafts scenery changes, but nothing else does. The collage illustrations help give the book some texture. Watercolor paint is used for backgrounds and the head and hands of the baby. Leaves and foliage are created with cut speckled paper along with twigs, bark, and dried grasses. The furry bear, with his purple-flowered neck bow, often has more dimension than the baby. Even with palpable elements added to the art, the book still feels unnatural, stripped of the truth inherent in the original verse.-Martha Topol, Traverse Area District Library, Traverse City, MI Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
A husband-and-wife team expands the familiar lullaby in this visually packed effort. Here, baby travels with his teddy bear from the fallen branch, naps while drifting down the creek, flies through the sky with the help of sweetly singing birds, and finally lands safely in his mother's arms. The singsong text is full of reassurances designed to make this strange journey into a pleasant and peaceful experience: with the "blanket caressing softly his cheek," baby is "dreaming of clouds in the sky above, he's feeling warm, and he's feeling loved." What makes this truly unique, however, are the multi-media collage illustrations, crafted from layers of watercolor images, dried leaves, feathers, a crocheted afghan, and even human hair. The results are pictures full of remarkable texture, depth, and color that juxtapose, for example, a muted watercolor cut-out of a baby's head resting atop a piece of blue broadcloth. Some readers may prefer a more traditional approach to children's illustration, but all are sure to appreciate the Adlermans' creative artistry. (Picture book. 2-5)