cover image We Got Here Together

We Got Here Together

Kim R. Stafford. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt P, $13.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-15-294891-7

Tucking his child into bed--underneath a patchwork quilt--a father begins the story of a bubble that is released from the mouth of a fish deep in the ocean at exactly the same moment that a raindrop falls from a cloud high over the ocean. The quilt metamorphoses into sky and ocean in Frasier's ( On the Day You Were Born ) sumptuous collages--ingeniously created from patterned papers dyed in the shibori style, a Japanese resist process traditionally used on cloth. The bubble travels upwards through the water as the raindrop descends, ``spinning dizzy down, sliding along the shoulder of the wind, tumbling toward that silver field of water.'' When the two shimmering silver objects finally meet, ``The bubble opened and was the whole sky. The raindrop opened and was the whole ocean.'' As sky and sea swirl back into the pattern of the quilt, Stafford's graceful lullaby turns its attention to ``you and I,'' ending on a comforting note: ``We got here together, too, didn't we? We got here safe, in the silver light, where we belong.'' With both illustrations and words delicately balancing the simple and the elaborate, this is an elegant bedtime story. Ages 4-8. (Apr.)