cover image The Tyger

The Tyger

William Blake. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt P, $15.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-15-292375-4

Sophisticated illustrations of the roaming ``tyger'' amid the ``forests of the night'' accompany Blake's famous poem. Shadowy black-and-gray spreads feature window-like insets of the dazzling color compositions for which Waldman ( Light ; America the Beautiful ) is noted, and each of these highlights one particular image--stars shooting across the skies; a woolly blue lamb; red-gold and velvet-black tiger stripes. The effect is a little like a lightning flash illuminating one small patch within a field of murky darkness. A naive stillness renders the creatures and their landscape symbolic, not quite real, vaguely mysterious. A full-color pull-out spread has special impact. Blake's poem is difficult in itself and, unfortunately, these stylized illustrations do little to bring his imagery within children's comprehension. Adults may be intrigued by Waldman's interpretation, but it does not work hand-in-hand with the text. All ages. (Oct.)