cover image Night of the Whipporw

Night of the Whipporw

. Philomel Books, $19.95 (71pp) ISBN 978-0-399-21874-3

Like Larrick's Cats Are Cats and Mice Are Nice , these ``poems that celebrate the night'' are chosen with care. The 34 selections include ``old poems from people who sang of the night long before scientists turned their telescopes on the sky, and songs from modern poets caught up in the continuing mystery and enchantment of the night.'' All the same, the match of art and text does not do justice to the varied and distinguished verses. Taken individually, Ray's muted, imaginative acrylic paintings--rendered primarily in dreamlike blues and grays--are successful; but taken as a whole, the art becomes repetitive, despite the occasional touch of orange light. Also, the individual texts are often set against hues too dark to make the words easily read. Nonetheless, Larrick's choices--from the folk song of the Papago Indians to Jarrell's ``The Bat'' to Hughes's ``The Harvest Moon''--are uniformly felicitous. She offers carefully wrought language that is thoughtful, deftly phrased and full of fresh imagery. All ages. (Nov.)