cover image The Owl Who Became the Moon

The Owl Who Became the Moon

Jonathan London. Dutton Books, $15.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-525-45054-2

Frosty, midnight blues accompany a rhythmic, onomatopoeic text to evoke a ride aboard a night train. A sleepbound boy muses about such a journey, ``through a forest / in the dark / under the stars.'' With spare elegance, London celebrates both the beauty of nighttime (``the snow flutters / like white butterflies / in the steam / and in the beam / of light / from the locomotive'') and the power of the train (``it ticktacks / down the tracks / and snakes through a tunnel / blacker than night''). Likewise, Rand's ( Night Tree ) luminous paintings capture the watchful activity of nocturnal creatures across a snowy landscape bisected by the chugging engine. He combines ground chalk, india ink and watercolors to achieve a remarkable range of textures and densities, from the owl's feathers to the glittering snow. While the image of the title proves cryptic, the poetry and hushed excitement of this arresting collaboration should earn it a place atop the stack of bedtime read-aloud favorites. Ages 4-7. (Feb.)