Night Becomes Day

Richard McGuire, Author Viking Children's Books $14.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-670-85547-6
With '40s-style, airbrush-smooth illustrations and equally streamlined text, McGuire (The Orange Book) takes readers from country to city, summer to spring, dawn to dark. ``Night becomes day/ And day becomes bright/ Bright becomes sun/ And sun becomes shine,'' begins the volume. Most key words logically flow into one another (``Mountain becomes peak... becomes valley''). Others take more of an imaginative leap: the sequence ``Grass becomes food... becomes wool... becomes blanket'' briskly links a grazing sheep to fibers to spinning and knitting. Readers zoom from a rural to an urban setting and back; the busy cycle concludes restfully with a dozing child snuggled in bed (``Dream becomes good... becomes night''). A certain aridity characterizes McGuire's hard-edged forms and brash fields of color, but the crisp compositions fairly whoosh by, particularly in scenes of commercial hustle and bustle. The author employs a mimimum of hues, placing retro yellows and powder-blues atop a white base, then jolting the eye with highlights of scarlet and grassy green. Visually and linguistically arresting. All ages. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/29/1994
Release date: 09/01/1994
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