Sunday, March 19, 2017

Sing Me to Sleep! Goodnight Songs: A Celebration of the Seasons by Margaret Wise Brown


Big and little, little and big,
A little bunny and big fat pig.

Give that poem to award-winning illustrator David Smalls and you know what happens next is going to funny and fun.

And in the this lovely compilation of poems by the inimitable Margaret Wise Brown, each one has its season and its charming animal spokesperson, and each one has the talents of a famous picture book artist featuring the joys of the season.

Molly Idle illustrates Brown's "Advice to Bunnies," beginning with "Don't go to sleep in the afternoon sun..." and Frank Viva, known for his on-the-move style, gets to portray the still of a new "Snowfall:"

Slow, slow. In the soft mysterious fall of the snow.
Walking in wonder.
The children go.

Home from school, their laughter low.
Catching falling flakes
Of snow.

And Ellie McKay portrays a girl making snow angels under her favorite "Cherry Tree," who instead is torn between the fun and the sadness of the season:

... My dear tree,

Where the cherries were red
Is frozen and gray,
The birds are all fled.

With twelve poems, one for each month of the year, and artwork by twelve award-winning illustrators, the included classic children's rhymes offer a variety of styles and emotions to celebrate the transit of the seasons through another year. In this second collection of Margaret Wise Brown's timeless children's poems, A Celebration of the Seasons: Goodnight Songs: Illustrated by Twelve Award-Winning Picture Book Artists (Sterling Books, 2016), the editors include an unusual appendix featuring thumbnail illustrations from each poem and the artist's reflections on each. Included also is a CD by Tom Proutt and Emily Gary of their original songs for each poem.

Says Publishers Weekly, ... The spectrum of artistic styles provides a rich accompaniment to Brown’s mix of playfulness and subtle contemplation." And School Library Journal adds, "Whether read or sung aloud, this essential collection is made to be shared."

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