cover image Who Gets the Sun Out of Bed?

Who Gets the Sun Out of Bed?

Nancy White Carlstrom. Little Brown and Company, $14.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-316-12862-9

In a format similar to Where Does the Night Hide? (but this time a riddle) Carlstrom asks, ``In the cold, dark winter, who gets the sun out of bed?'' McPhail's slumbering sun sails midnight-blue skies in the huge four-poster bed from Adam's Smile . The toasty sphere orbits high above a frozen landscape and a solitary house distinguishable by its mile-high smoke plumes. Framed in abundant white space--but offering no answers to the fanciful question--are a snow-laden spruce tree (``Not the spruce tree, sighing softly in the starlight''), glittering stars, the snow and the house itself. Nor do homey objects radiating warmth yield answers; only in predawn hours do the moon, a bunny and a sleeping boy finally rouse old Sol. McPhail's riveting purples, set against chilly blues and luminous orangy yellows, beguile the eye and soul, yet Carlstrom's replies, while capturing the rhythms of deepest night with lingering sibilance, are sometimes confusing. Children may wonder how the fire, stove and kettle pertain to the query, although the riddle and responses, along with compelling watercolors, do convey the soothing hum of night's passage. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)