Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star

Jerry Pinkney. Little, Brown, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-316-05696-0
Caldecott Medalist Pinkney (The Lion & the Mouse) taps into the curiosity and wonderment that define this nursery rhyme, following a chipmunk’s travels by day and night. Though four verses of the song are included along with the refrain, many of the spreads are wordless, leaving readers to decipher the inquisitive chipmunk’s wanderings. Rendered in pencil, watercolor, and colored pencil, Pinkney’s lush artwork is simultaneously naturalistic and whimsical. Like Mary Lyn Ray and Marla Frazee’s Stars, also out this fall, Pinkney takes poetic license with regard to what constitutes a “star”—morning glories, spider webs, fireflies, and water lilies all take on astral qualities. After climbing into a bird’s nest (a nod to “Rock-a-Bye, Baby,” per Pinkney’s artist’s note) that transforms into a boat, the chipmunk, now wearing a sailor suit, sails into the darkening sky in a dreamlike journey that later has him tumbling into a pond and being rescued by a swan. Pinkney’s flora and fauna are exquisite, as is his palette, dominated by rich earth tones and brilliant blues. Soothing and magical, this one should conjure some sweet dreams. Up to age 3. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/29/2011
Release date: 10/01/2011
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