cover image Dreamland: A Lullaby

Dreamland: A Lullaby

Mary Chapin Carpenter, Mary Chapin Carpenter. HarperCollins, $13.95 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-06-025402-5

Carpenter's original lullaby (her contribution to 'Til Their Eyes Shine, a recent CD anthology of lullabies by a number of well-known performing artists) makes for pleasant enough bedtime fare, though it's a shame that the musical notation wasn't included--it's clear from the cadence that these verses were meant to be sung, not just read aloud. The words are geared for gently coaxing little ones to sleep: ""Who knows where you'll fly away,/ winging past the light of day?/ The man in the moon and the Milky Way/ welcome you to dreamland."" Catering to the same pearly taste, Noonan's (Emma & Mommy Talk to God) oil paintings have the retro flavor of tinted photographs of the '30s and '40s. A cherubic blonde girl drifts off to sleep, floating across a pastel night sky with multiracial companions who emerge from blossoming flowers and who snuggle with stuffed animals--it seems almost unnecessary to add that the stars and the moon all wear smiling faces. There's little middle ground here: readers will find this either saccharine or sweet as spun sugar. Ages 3-7. (Sept.)