Midnight Farm

Carly Simon, Author, Simon & Schuster, Author, David Delamare, Illustrator Simon & Schuster $16 (40p) ISBN 978-0-689-81237-8
It's Barnyard Bandstand as the plants and animals of a Martha's Vineyard farm enjoy a moonlight do-si-do in singer Simon's (Amy the Dancing Bear) nocturnal fantasy. Five-year-old twins Noah and Jules witness the exuberant gala at the invitation of a friendly, mandolin-playing field mouse. Under the direction of a grouchy tulip conductor, the boys join in the festivities as peas and onions jig, and pigs, cows, flamingos and even a queen bee party the night away. The fun turns back to ordinary peaceful slumber after an old turtle cooks up some pearls on the barbecue. Simon's lengthy, even verbose story-poem has a fevered pitch, and many of her lines scan poorly while rhymes are often forced (over/cover, mean/crinoline). Delamare's (The Christmas Secret) dapper, outlandishly clad creatures and purple-blue, starlit nightscapes are bathed in an otherworldly glow. But while this artist is up to the challenge of picturing an apple tree strumming a guitar as a cabbage plays bass, some readers may find his sharp-toothed characters more creepy than whimsical, and the static climate more disturbing than dreamy. Ages 4-8. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 07/31/1997
Release date: 08/01/1997
Hardcover - 978-0-689-00368-4
Prebound-Sewn - 978-0-613-31475-6
Paperback - 40 pages - 978-0-689-83888-0
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