Hush Little Baby

Shari Halpern, Author, Shari Halpern, Illustrator
Shari Halpern, Author, Shari Halpern, Illustrator NorthSouth $15.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-55858-807-3
Library Binding - 32 pages - 978-1-55858-808-0
Prebound-Sewn - 978-0-613-99095-0
Paperback - 24 pages - 978-0-7358-2167-5
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Halpern (Little Robin Redbreast) evokes a comforting intimacy with this attractive interpretation of a familiar childhood folk song. She illustrates each line with a pretty, quilt-like image, assembled from appliques of painted paper and color photocopies of fabric. Each layer of collage can be discerned, imbuing the illustrations with a texture and almost cushy depth that resembles real quilts. A whimsical border of repeating images frames each picture: a prince quilt, for example, is surrounded with bold cut-outs in the shapes of castles and jewels. At the center of each frame, a vivacious auburn-haired boy in pajamas acts each line of the song: for ""And if that mockingbird won't sing,"" the boy sits in a nest, trying to coax a bird to chirp along with him; for ""And if that looking-glass gets broke,"" the boy looks in a mirror, where he sees the reflection of himself dressed as a prince. In one, Halpern gently pushes the boundaries of the song--for the line, ""And if that diamond ring turns brass,"" she depicts her hero swinging on a ring-shaped constellation, framed in a border of ringed planets and crescent moons. This square trim volume strikes just the right note for younger children, softly weaving folksy images into a favorite lullaby. The book concludes with a simple piano version of the melody. Ages 2-5. (Oct.)
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