May the Stars Drip Down

Jeremy Chatelain, illus. by Nikki McClure. Abrams, $19.95 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4197-1024-7
Using a palette of inky midnight blue, white, and pale gold, McClure's torn paper compositions bring a sense of movement, mystery, and dimension to musician Chatelain's evocative lullaby. As a mother and young child cuddle close, white specks of stars, rings of light, and wavelike celestial patterns stand boldly against dark swaths of land and sky, creating a contrast that is reminiscent of woodprint. The melodic rhymes conjure wild and sweeping imagery, amid well-wishing for the boy's future journeys: "The wind blows grasses green and blue/ May the path gently lead you./ To a coastline town where porch lights blink,/ Till the last house slowly falls asleep,/ While waves roll in forevermore./ May you walk the sandy shore." In one spread, the boy peers with almost savage independence from behind tall meadow grasses. Yet at the finale, the mother (advanced in age) continues to comfort and hold her sleeping offspring: "Then the morning light comes gently in,/ And you wake to sunshine and the wind,/ Whose whispers will ring true./ May I always have you./ May I always have you." Ages 3–7. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 04/14/2014
Release date: 03/01/2014
Genre: Children's
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