cover image I Will Hold You 'Til You Sleep

I Will Hold You 'Til You Sleep

Linda Zuckerman, , illus. by Jon J Muth. . Scholastic/Levine, $16.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-439-43420-1

The power and meaning of love is found in the simple, heartfelt promises that parents make to their children. That's the premise of this somewhat sentimental but visually impressive book. Using debut author Zuckerman's rather familiar lines as a jumping-off point ("I will hold you 'til you sleep/ Safe and warm within my arms/ Dreams of springtime's gentle breezes/ While my lullaby surrounds you"), Muth (Zen Shorts ) imagines a journey of life's milestone moments, from birth to adulthood. A verse that begins, "I will kiss you when you fall," for instance, movingly covers a wide span of years that includes both a tumble the boy hero takes from his bike when he's a grade-schooler and also his first heartbreak as a teenager. Muth's rendering of the father comforting the jilted boy is emotionally astute. "When winter snows descend" inspires an image of the hero as a young man assisting and comforting his elderly mother. Muth graciously balances the weight of the scenes with an objective view, to keep this volume in the realm of the universal. All ages. (Oct.)