cover image Boats for Bedtime

Boats for Bedtime

Olga Litowinsky. Clarion Books, $12 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-395-89128-5

Featured against solid, boldly hued backdrops depicting various waterscapes--from a bathtub to an open ocean--boats of all shapes and sizes come into clear focus in Greenburg's (Down in the Subway) cheerful art. Litowinsky's minimal, straightforward text provides labels for the specific types of craft (""Tankers,"" ""Kayaks"") and groups the boats thematically (""Boats working hard night and day""; ""Boats for pleasure everywhere""). Pictures and narrative take a fanciful turn in the closing pages, where airborne vessels, including a creatively painted Viking ship and an ark worthy of Noah ""Sail among the stars/ Play around the moon."" As a follow-up to this dreamlike scenario, the final page reveals a scattering of ships floating above a sleeping child's bed. Colorfully clad, diminutive mice make up the boats' crews and sunbathe on an ocean liner, picnic in a canoe and water ski behind a speedboat. Their diverting antics give the book its buoyancy. Ages 2-5. (Sept.)