cover image Hush!: A Thai Lullaby

Hush!: A Thai Lullaby

Minfong Ho. Scholastic, $17.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-531-09500-3

Subtitled ""A Thai Lullaby,"" this atmospheric picture book gently but dynamically evokes a summer's evening, the tranquillity punctuated only by sounds wafting in on the night air. As a mother puts her baby to sleep, she becomes acutely aware of the cries and calls of nearby animals. In spirited verse, she implores each to pipe down (""Lizard, lizard,/ don't come peeping""; ""White duck, white duck/ don't come beeping""; etc.). Her tender plea for quiet (""Can't you see that Baby's sleeping?"") creates a melodious refrain at the center of the text. By book's end the mother and all the animals are sleeping-Baby, of course, is wide-awake. Departing from the torn-paper technique of her previous books, Meade (Small Green Snake) uses cut paper and ink to produce intriguing textures, layers and shapes, from the woven straw mats beneath the baby's hammock to the luxuriant green forest where a noisy elephant walks. Red-ink outlines add a bold touch to figures and accentuate the varied angles and perspectives. Children will find the animal sounds fascinating-a Thai mouse says ""Jeed-jeed,"" a frog belches ""op-op"" while an elephant trumpets ""hoom-praa""-perfect for trying out loud. Both soothing and stimulating. Ages 2-6. (Mar.)