cover image Northwoods Cradle Song: From a Menominee Lullaby

Northwoods Cradle Song: From a Menominee Lullaby

Douglas Wood. Atheneum Books, $15 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-689-80503-5

The northwoods of turn-of-the-century Wisconsin form the soul-nourishing setting of a Native American lullaby, lyrically rendered by the author of Old Turtle. Working in oils, Desimini (The Great Peace March) paints with a tranquil, velvety softness. Her abstract, purple-black scenes of a Menominee mother and infant, illuminated only by firelight and the vanishing sun, mirror the peace and silence of nighttime in the woods. The lullaby itself whispers that all of nature is going to sleep: ""Ne pa Ko, my sleepy head,/ Tiger lily's gone to bed/ Where the heron, tall and wise,/ Watches for the moon to rise./ ... Sleep, little warrior, sleep."" Basing his work on published translations, Wood has crafted an image-rich, eminently musical lullaby. Its simple charm should hook a broad range of readers. Ages 6mos.-5yrs. (Apr.)