cover image The Night Is Singing

The Night Is Singing

Jacqueline Davies. Dial Books, $16.99 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-8037-3004-5

In lyrical language, Davies (The Boy Who Drew Birds) describes the many distractions that keep an inquisitive girl from much-needed rest. The repetition in the opening passage produces an almost hypnotic effect, gently coaxing readers off to dreamland: ""When the night is gently falling,/ And the moon is on the rise,/ Close your eyes,/ Close your eyes.../ The night is singing lullabies."" Not so fast: the heroine hears the siren calls of honking geese, the blowing wind and falling rain-a cacophony of sounds that make their own music. In Brooker's (Precious and the Boo Hag) illustrations of collage and oil paint, leaves tremble during the onset of the storm and a pouncing kitten practically bounds off the pages. Before sleep can become a lost cause, the gentle ""tip-tap beat"" of Mama's feet drowns out the other sounds, which the text echoes (""Rain is slowing,/ Soft wind blowing""). The soothing verse comes full circle, offering just a hint of a world that is still at work even while we rest (""And the stars ignite the skies./ 'Til you rise,/ 'Til you rise""). Ages 4-up.