OUR NEST

Reeve Lindbergh, Author, Jill McElmurry, Illustrator , illus. by Jill McElmurry. Candlewick $15.99 (0p) ISBN 978-0-7636-1286-3

"Snuggled in bed,/ You're all safe and warm,/ Like a bird in a nest in a tree." But nests—even figurative ones—aren't the exclusive domains of animals, as Lindbergh (My Hippie Grandmother ) explains in this poignant lullaby. McElmurry's (Mad About Plaid ) detailed, gouache murals and rounded images framed in generous white space offer a kind of visual security blanket, as readers leave the confines of the bedroom and backyard. The text prompts them to think about how a valley acts as a nest for a river, a harbor as a nest for ships, the land as a nest for the ocean, and space as a nest for the planets and stars. "We're here in the nest of creation/ With the earth and the stars up above," Lindbergh writes, and by this point it's a metaphysical leap most youngsters will be ready to make. Even so, the author reassures them by bringing her poem back to the immediate and particular in the final lines: "You're here safe and warm,/ in the nest of my arms,/ When I wrap them around you with love." Author and illustrator synchronize the images on every page; McElmurry's curvilinear shapes, saturated colors and streamlined characterizations—stylings that recall early 1960s graphic design—echo the lilt of the text, and seamlessly link one painting to the next as Lindbergh's verse casts an ever-wider net. Ages 3-6. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 03/22/2004
Release date: 04/01/2004
Genre: Children's
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