cover image Sleepytime Rhyme

Sleepytime Rhyme

Remy Charlip. Greenwillow Books, $17.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-688-16271-9

Charlip (Fortunately) brings his expertise to this simple yet endearing bedtime book. Sitting on a bed before a pair of gracefully billowing curtains, a mother cuddles her baby and tenderly makes an inventory: ""I love your hands/ your teeth, your nose/ your ankles, feet/ and all ten toes."" Variations on this theme appear on each page (""I love your knees, your north, your south""), giving the text an incantatory feel. Charlip's depiction of the mother and child is highly stylized: just three small arcs on each character's face represent the eyes and mouth. These minimal facial features are also used to personify a series of unlikely mom-and-baby pairs glimpsed out the window. A smiling cloud embraces a smaller one; the changing scenery also includes little trees, suns, moons and stars shepherded by their mothers. The artist's skillful visual shorthand and his use of warm, stained-glass colors (particularly the rich violet of the full-bleed background) ward off sentimentality and bring on a happy, jazzy mood. His work joyfully telegraphs the utter bliss of two humans totally caught up in one another. All ages. (Aug.)