cover image While the World Is Sleeping

While the World Is Sleeping

Pamela Duncan Edwards, , illus. by Daniel Kirk. . Scholastic/Orchard, $16.99 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-545-01756-5

“Come little sleepyhead, come with me,/ I've left my hole high in the tree./ Oh, what wondrous things we'll see,/ While the world is sleeping.” Edwards (Dinosaur Starts School ) issues readers this lyrical invitation as an enormous white owl swoops toward a lit bedroom window, where a child climbs onto its back for a moonlit tour of the countryside. With fluid rhyme and a calming cadence, the verse chronicles the nighttime habits of various animals. Deer frolic, rabbits play, beavers build a dam, and a raccoon eyes tempting garbage cans. (Though deer and rabbits are more active at twilight than at midnight, readers are no more likely to be bothered by this than by a giant owl offering nocturnal rides to children.) Kirk's (Library Mouse ) luminescent, finely detailed gouache paintings give the animals hyperreal cuteness; their gleaming eyes have more than a hint of personification. The art also offers entertaining background diversions, as animals make surprise return appearances. This satisfying lullaby is a pleasure for ears and eyes. Ages 4–8. (Jan.)