cover image The Midnight Farm

The Midnight Farm

Reeve Lindbergh. Dial Books, $15.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8037-0331-5

A child is initiated into the mysteries of the dark hours of midnight at the farm. In the maple tree, a raccoon family is seen making a home alongside an owl; the barnyard farm geese wait for wild geese to pass; in the stable and the barn, horses and cows stand and stare; in the back, sheep huddle close to stay warm. Deer gather near the orchard pond; and on the old stone wall, field mice hide their seeds and berries. This is a rare depiction of the ""heart of the darkness,'' not only as a safe, snug place, but as a celebration of life, hope and wonder. Jeffers's night world is carved out from the majesty of nature and the awe of creation. The subdued colors of darkness have never been happier; a fine-line pen shapes every square inch of the farm and overshadows all creatures, large and small. Ages 3-7. (September)