Newcomer Hurley lets her bright, clean illustrations do her storytelling, limiting the text on each page to a single, evocative word. The first spread—“nest”—accompanies two robins guarding a precious blue egg. Like silk-screened images, Hurley’s digitally created artwork represents the birds and the trees they live in with flat, sharply delineated areas of color on matte pages; airy white space in the compositions duplicates the freedom in which the birds live and soar. Although the forms are stripped down, some small details are preserved, like the intricately woven twigs of the nest and the sparks of light in the birds’ eyes. “Grow” shows the robins bringing worms to their nestling amid a bower of blossoms; throughout, Hurley celebrates the changing seasons. Although it suggests itself as a bedtime book, the arc of the story is not day moving into night, and the page that says “sleep” is not the last one—with an “Awake,” the next spread shows the rising sun. Robins meet other robins and start again where they began: “Nest.” A handsome, disciplined debut. Ages 3–7. Agent: Laurie Abkemeier, DeFiore and Company. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 11/18/2013 Release date: 02/04/2014 Genre: Children's
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