cover image From Lullaby to Lullaby from Lullaby to Lullaby

From Lullaby to Lullaby from Lullaby to Lullaby

Adele Geras. Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, $16 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-689-80568-4

A mother knitting a blanket by her daughter's bedside croons a lullaby, sweetly recounting the dreams of figures that appear in her needlework. ""Follow the yarns/ What do you find?,"" runs her song's refrain (the order of the lines varies), ""What do you find/ as the yarns unwind?"" The lullaby transports the girl to each dream's enchanted setting--a doll, she learns, dreams of a fairyland tea party; a cat dreams of lush, grassy meadow. Accompanying her on the journey is the blanket (which can transform itself, when needed, into a sail or a balloon) and two toys brought to life: a dapper, long-eared stuffed rabbit and a bright-eyed rocking horse. Geras's economical text spins this beguiling conceit into a lilting lullaby of words: the moon dreams of ""a mile of space and no thin clouds to cover her face."" Brown's (The Old Woman Who Named Things) watercolors, while accomplished, aren't a good match for Geras's efforts. With delicate brushstrokes Brown conjures up a wispy-haired, dreamy-eyed heroine and idyllic, fairy tale locales, but it all seems a bit self-consciously cute. The calendar-art prettiness does have its charms, but the cumulative effect is one of diluting the text's mesmerizing power. Ages 3-8. (Apr.)