cover image ONE GRAIN OF SAND


Pete Seeger, , illus. by Linda Wingerter. . Little, Brown/Tingley, $15.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-316-78140-4

"Some of the most successful singing I've ever done has been when one hundred percent of my audience has gone sound to sleep on me," music legend Seeger (Turn! Turn! Turn!, reviewed above) wryly notes in the preface. But even if the lullaby's lyrics, which serve as the book's text, prove ultimately soporific (the melody line also appears in the preface), many young readers will try their best to stay up until the last page, so they can savor every one of Wingerter's gorgeous acrylic paintings. Working mostly in soothing hues of twilight blue, she riffs on the lullaby's subtext of connectedness ("One grain of sand,/ One grain of sand in all the world,/ One grain of sand,/ One little boy, one little girl"). An especially lush spread, inspired by "one drop of water in the sea," depicts the ocean depths, with swirling aqua and midnight-blue hues engulfing the silhouette of a whale. Like the chauffeur of a magic carpet, the artist whisks readers around the world, hovering above and around exotic locales. The book opens and closes on a vast tropical beach, the home of a solitary fishing family; in between, readers visit a lagoon where an Asian girl gathers a phosphorescent water lily; a metropolis where a boy in his room and a cat on the roof admire the skyscrapers' sparkling lights; and an ice floe where a polar bear and her cub huddle for safety. The message is soothing and inspiring: the world is a great, gorgeous collective of individuals whose lives are touched by wonder every day. Ages 3-6. (Aug.)