cover image A Child's Good Night Prayer

A Child's Good Night Prayer

Grace Maccarone. Scholastic Inc., $10.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-439-23505-1

Previously paired for A Child Was Born, Maccarone and Williams offer an unusually gentle bedtime verse, a sweetly distilled prayer for the very young. The work opens with a view of one pajama-clad child kneeling on a crescent moon to wave at another child, who leans over a star on the facing page; ""Bless the moon"" appears within the crescent, ""Bless the stars"" within the star. A series of multiethnic children goes on to bless toys, self and so on, ending with ""Bless the children everywhere."" God stays unnamed, which allows parents to decide how to adapt the verse to their own spiritual practices and leanings. Another distinctive aspect of this book is the author and artist's embrace of a childlike perspective: the blessing conferred on ""the family/ in its house"" is depicted in terms of a happy girl looking into a well-populated dollhouse. The warmly lit watercolors are scaled to show children large on the page, creating intimacy and implying the child's sovereignty over his or her small world. And with no more than six words per spread, even youngest members of the target audience will find it easy to commit the verse to memory. Ages 2-6. (Aug.)