cover image Putting the World to Sleep

Putting the World to Sleep

Shelley Moore Thomas. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH), $13.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-395-71283-2

The soothing cadences of cumulative verse will easily lull young readers of this beguiling bedtime book. As the text begins, ``The moon climbs over the mountain each night,/ putting the world to sleep''; with each turn of the page nightfall advances just a bit more (``The crickets start singing farewell to the day/ as the moon climbs over the mountain each night...''). Debut author Thomas brings this sequence to a graceful if anticipated conclusion as a ``dreamy-eyed baby yawns big and wide'' and an older sister bids ``Good night, world.'' Christensen's (An Edible Alphabet) intricately etched colored prints shows a mother and her two children, first under a darkening sky, then returning to their rural house and, finally, preparing for bed. She makes exceptional use of light-the rising moon, the steady fire by the hearth, the blaze of electricity each glow with their own subtle intensity. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)