cover image K Is for Kiss Goodnight

K Is for Kiss Goodnight

Jill Sardegna. Doubleday Books for Young Readers, $13.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-385-31044-4

A multiracial cast of winsome youngsters enacts familiar bedtime activities in this handsome but somewhat forced alphabet book. Hays ( Abiyoyo ; Three Wishes ) contributes characteristically striking artwork in carefully composed vignettes, many of them beguiling close-ups. Both spare and soothing, these luminous illustrations are texturally enhanced by the patterns of the artist's canvas seen through his colorations. The graininess of the art also gives it a rich patina, as if the pictures are lit from within. Sardegna's brief text, unfortunately, is less successful, with some of her imagery and vocabulary lying beyond the grasp of the suggested audience: e.g., D for ``Dreams forming in my head,'' seems a relatively advanced concept for this set. And while ``Zzzz'' is a fitting close, representing X by ``extra tired'' is cheating. Still, Hays's attractive nocturnal settings offer ample opportunities for little ones to try out their word power. Ages 2-5. (May)