cover image Mockingbird Morning

Mockingbird Morning

Joanne Ryder. Four Winds, $14.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-02-777961-5

This companion book to Ryder and Nolan's Step into the Night is, like its predecessor, a naturalist's delight. A girl is awakened by a mockingbird's song: ``I am here. I am here. Happy day! Happy day! '' As she walks through the woods, and near a pond, she looks and listens, moving in concord with the narrator's directions. ``Under the trees / the moss / is like a quiet animal / waiting / for you to come / and touch / its softness. / Feel its fur gently. / Listen . . . / you can almost / hear it purr.'' She sees a turtle with ``bright red eyes,'' a fish that swirls like ``a golden treasure,'' a dragonfly with ``long wings / clear as glass.'' As she returns, the ``summer pictures flicker in her mind'' and keep her ``company / all the way home.'' Nolan's outstanding illustrations, in his customary photo-realistic style, are drenched with sunlight and shadowsthe perfect complement to Ryder's reverent text. Ages 5-8. (Mar.)