cover image A Norse Lullaby

A Norse Lullaby

M. L. Van Vorst. Lothrop, Lee and Shepard Books, $12.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-688-05812-8

The lilting verse of a lullaby written a century ago inspired Tomes's pictorial storytelling: she euphoniously juxtaposes images of a father racing home by sled through the frosty night with scenes of his family preparing for bedtime. ``His flying steed with the wind's abreast/ Here by the fire are warmth and rest/ (Hush, hush, in your little nest),/ And mother's voice is singing.'' The chanting out loud of the lullaby reveals a soothing cadence that warms the cold miles of the father's journey. In her bustling 19th century Scandinavian household, Tomes carves out evocative scenes in burgundy, ivory, slate blue, stony gray and orange; the last of these, found in the glow of the fire and the fur of a tabby cat, creates a surprising accent for the other, more wintry hues in this work of understated opulence. Ages 2-6. (August)