cover image Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star

Jane Taylor. Morrow Junior Books, $15 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-688-11168-7

Intricately detailed, Victorian-style illustrations highlight this version of the beloved nursery tune, originally published in 1806. (The song, including its lesser-known later verses, comprises the book's entire text.) It seems a somewhat curious choice for Hague, the noted illustrator of such classics as Peter Pan and The Secret Garden , as its lyrics are too insubstantial to function as a storybook; they are clearly intended, rather, to serve as a backdrop for Hague's rococo artwork. In his characteristic style, which recalls the delicate magic of Arthur Rackham, Hague renders the nursery rhyme as an enchanted dream in which winged fairies guide two sleepy children through a sky shimmering with stars. Piloting a tiny boat on the celestial seas, the boy and girl pass a smiling crescent moon, mermaids with flowing hair and benevolent gnomes before they are guided safely back to bed. Although Hague does his best to create a visual story from a non-narrative text, this slight volume is ultimately a collection of attractive but discrete pictures, a coffee-table book for children sure to please the artist's many fans. All ages. (Sept.)