cover image SOME FROM THE MOON, SOME FROM THE SUN: Poems and Songs for Everyone

SOME FROM THE MOON, SOME FROM THE SUN: Poems and Songs for Everyone

Margot Zemach, . . FSG, $17 (48pp) ISBN 978-0-374-39960-3

Each detail of this posthumous collection of Zemach's work is rendered with care. From the book's cover, with its arches of sun, stars and earth, to the brief autobiography at its end, Zemach's versatility shines. Dazzling endpapers resemble sketchbook pages, chock-full of people and animals—and the moon/sun theme carries through to the title page, which shows an intriguing crowing rooster wearing a midnight-black cape flecked with stars. The collection of rhymes plays up Zemach's wide range of moods and styles, perspective and subject matter. The tranquility of the deft watercolors illustrating a birch forest ("When a big tree falls and people aren't near,/ Does it really make a noise if no one can hear?") offers a distinct contrast to the humor of a black-outlined caricature of Hannah Bantry, gnawing at a mutton bone in the pantry, for instance. Similarly, the child-like watercolor of Bingo the dog differs in texture, line and complexity from Zemach's depiction on the succeeding page of the five little pigs that go to market. The variety of style coheres rather than distracts, and Zemach's consistent palette is enough to unify the book artistically. Zemach's own words at the book's conclusion, adorned with fascinating photographs and samples of artwork from her childhood, will inspire the creativity of nearly everyone, and may well send readers out in search of her other works (a complete list is provided). All ages. (Sept.)