cover image On a Wintry Morning: 5

On a Wintry Morning: 5

Dori J. Chaconas. Viking Children's Books, $15.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-670-89245-7

Reminiscent of Mother Goose rhymes, newcomer Chaconas's musical verse sequence nostalgically harks back to a quieter time while preserving its appeal to contemporary children. A father bundles up his toddler daughter: ""Daddy, tie her hat on tight./ Tie that baby's hat on tight./ The wind will blow with all its might./ On a wintry morning."" Describing the progression of the morning's events, the text skimps on dynamic tension but compensates with a cornucopia of child-pleasing images: the father and daughter hitch up the horse and ride in their sleigh, look for animal tracks (""Daddy, find a bunny track./ Quick-foot, light-foot bunny track"") and buy a ""tawny, brindled pup,/ One ear down and one ear up."" Like the verses, Johnson's (Alphabet City) paintings possess a timeless tranquility. Despite the huge snowflakes, the illustrations are full of warmth and comfort. A close-up of the father's hands as he cradles the baby's ""tiny tender toes,"" the baby asleep on his chest as he sings a ""cozy, dozy tune""Deach scene suggests the joy and love shared by parent and child. As nourishing as hearty winter soup. Ages 1-4. (Oct.)