Saturday, June 20, 2009

Celestial Carousel Ride: Enchanted Lions by David T. Greenberg

The sea is a mass of swirls.
The night is ablaze with pearls.

The blossoms on the pear tree,
Suddenly rustle and sigh.

Anticipation all a flutter,
Rose flings open her shutter.

On a blue-black twilight evening, in a white-washed cottage by the sea, a red-haired girl opens her blue shutters to the night breeze. And what she sees begins a dreamlike fantasy of a ride through the sky.

Out of the ocean appears a pride of lions, and when Rose rushes outside to stroke one of the lions, he takes her upon his back and leaps into the sky. They fly past the constellations, past Pegasus and Pisces and Monoceros, the Unicorn. They hopscotch the asteroids and frisk through deep space, until Rose feels them being drawn like dust before a vacuum into a black hole. But quickly she snatches up a passing comet's tail and lassos the flukes of Cetus the Whale, who swims them strongly to safety.

At last the enchanted lions leap back to earth, and with a final hug for her celestial steed, Rose returns to her very own bed, where she falls asleep with a smile and is lost in her own continuing dream.

Enchanted Lions (Dutton, 2009) draws deeply on the illustrative skills of Kristina Swarner, whose glowing artwork lights up the pages as it brings the light and airy story to life. A good tale for a bedtime dreamer with stars in her eyes and the moon in her head.

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