cover image The Night Is Deep and Wide

The Night Is Deep and Wide

Gillian Sze, illus. by Sue Todd. Orca, $10.95 (20p) ISBN 978-1-4598-2481-2

It’s time to sleep, and all of life knows it in this spare, sleepy-making board book written in villanelle form. As “shadows grow” at dusk, a dark-haired child picking blooms witnesses tulips closing as fireflies “flit and glow,” young songbirds cuddle “against their mothers’ sides,” and “even the home slumps and sighs low.” Visually recalling Nikki McClure’s use of negative space, b&w linocut art by Todd, featuring minimal splashes of color, complements Sze’s gentle words, which confidently engage the verse form’s rhyme and repetition: “Tulips close, row by row.// Moonlight falls/ on eyes that close.” As tulips shut and animals slumber, the protagonist arrives home to curl up, too, settling in for the night with a vase of the tulips on the bedside table. A lovely visual lullaby to soothe youngest readers to sleep. Ages up to 2. [em](Mar.) [/em]