PreS-Van Laan takes a global approach to the lullaby, showing people and animals putting their young ones to sleep. The text is simple; the illustrations are the key here. Art created from torn-paper, with flat, bright colors and sparing use of details, gives the book a texture and primitive quality. Each illustration has a frame, which usually includes the name of the continent. The pictures of the animals are more interesting than those of the humans. Also, there's a problem with the global approach: just what mother is it that has a newborn on Antarctica? Whereas the fauna of the world are consistently treated in their natural habitats, the humans are an odd assortment of choices. Still, if one is not too critical, the animals will carry this book, and the soothing rhythm of the sleep, sleep, sleepy lullaby will comfort while the illustrations compel rapt attention.-Ruth K. MacDonald, Bay Path College, Longmeadow, MA
This book does not contain actual lullabies but gathers sleepytime words and sounds from people and animals all over the world. For every continent, mothers are shown saying "sleep, sleep, sleep" to their babies in their own language. In North America, a Navajo woman sings, "ith-wush, ith-wush, ith-wush" while coyote calls, "yip, yip" and owl hoots, "whoo, whoo." A Norwegian mother sings, "sove, sove, sove" while a brown bear growls, "grr, grr," and a rabbit says, "munch, munch." Other countries include Botswana, Bolivia, China, Australia, and Chile (for Antarctica, which contains a Chilean research base). Animals include the leopard, giraffe, panda, whale, and kangaroo, among others. The illustrators depict each mother in her own cultural or natural environment. They are made with torn paper in bright colors with soft white edging and have a tender quality. A soothing, multicultural tribute to universal mother love.