cover image My Father

My Father

Judy Collins. Little Brown and Company, $12.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-316-15228-0

Based on the lyrics of folksinger Collins's well-known song, this appealing picture book takes a nostalgic look at a daughter and a childhood made radiant by ``my father's dreams'' of an ideal life. Dyer's halcyon palette delicately evokes the simple pleasures of that childhood in watercolors, but she chooses to smooth its rough edges: the gap between the implied hardships and the hopes of the Ohio miner's family, so poignant in the song, is not mirrored in the paintings. But for the daughter who grows up to fulfill her father's vision--living in Paris, her children dancing and dreaming--the song is an act of love and remembrance made on her father's behalf, and Dyer rises to the occasion with quiet euphoria. Ages 4-8. (Oct.)