When It Is Night, When It Is Day

Jenny Tyers, Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $14.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-395-71546-8
Tyers debuts with a quiet ode to night and day and the differences between them, as expressed in the activities of animals. Intended, perhaps, for bedtime reading, the first half of the book, devoted to night, begins simply, ""When it is NIGHT the llama shuts its eyes."" Then, in a pleasing, loosely rhythmical litany of nocturnal life, a wolf howls, an owl hoots, a bat swoops and so on, until the llama opens its eyes and it is ""DAY."" The everpresent crescent moon from previous pages is replaced by a blazing red, spiderweb-like sun, and a series of daytime animals continues the process begun by the llama. Each page features an etching of a different creature against a mixed-media background. The animals are not cuddly, idealized types: their bodies are unembraceable and oddly shaped, their expressions somber and heavy-lidded. Like portraits, the images have a certain static quality, yet the primitive, abstract style can be haunting, too, inviting the reader to linger. Ages 4-7. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/04/1996
Release date: 03/01/1996
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