cover image Shhhh


Kevin Henkes. Greenwillow Books, $16.99 (24pp) ISBN 978-0-688-07985-7

In an affecting, stylistic departure from his often joyous watercolors, Henkes uses acrylic paints to create the hushed world of a child's first waking moments. A girl notes that the rest of the household is still asleep, from her stuffed animals and family pets to a baby sister in a crib and her parents. Reaching for her toy horn, she blasts them all awake--and is she punished? No, the final scene shows the loving family gathered together. The text is all mood--unlike Henkes's other works, which tell more of a story--and the paintings convey that tenderness in dusky morning tones and broad sweeps of the brush. How rewarding to watch an artist stretch, and achieve another perfect fit. Ages 3-up. (Aug.)