cover image Who Will Sing a Lullaby?

Who Will Sing a Lullaby?

Dee Lillegard. Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, $15.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-375-81573-7

Much like a bedtime song itself, Lillegard's (Balloons, Balloons, Balloons) story soothes and comforts with repetitive verse ("" 'Listen to that baby cry!'/ the birds around the cradle sigh./ Who will sing a lullaby?""). As a round-headed baby wails, several birds take turns attempting to quiet it, and the tot curls up contentedly aboard the backs of a crow, goose and other birds as they fly over fields or tuck into their nests-but the peace never lasts long. Often startled by the birds' songs, the child repeatedly awakens and howls anew, until a nightingale leads his avian friends in a lullaby that finally does the trick. Yaccarino (Every Friday) approaches the story from various perspectives, including bird's-eye view spreads and close-ups of the cranky infant. (The latter play up the humorousness of the child's incessant crying, as they alternate with more serene spreads of the infant nearing sleep.) The bold gouache palette should keep readers engaged, as should the baby's vacillation between discontent and peacefulness; with the latter winning out in the end, Lillegard and Yaccarino's gentle tale may well send readers off to dreamland along with baby and birds. Ages 3-6.