cover image I Swim an Ocean in My Sleep

I Swim an Ocean in My Sleep

Norma Farber. Henry Holt & Company, $14.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8050-3381-6

Flawless verse by the late Farber graces this lyrical bedtime book. By turns tranquil (""Star five-fingered,/ starry fish,/ let me dream my favorite wish"") and jocular (""Lobster, dance/ into my net./ Clam, click-click your castanet""), her words weave a tapestry of enticing, dreamlike images. Drifting from page to page on an after-hours frolic, a pajama-clad boy meets up with a host of new friends, from a sea horse to a pink octopus, a whale and a mermaid. Savadier's (Hotter Than a Hot Dog!) playful illustrations, wrought in ink and gouache on slippery-looking vinyl-coated cotton, sustain the book's cohesiveness. The artist beguiles readers into the fanciful undersea realm through the use of rich tropical colors and an almost hypnotically fluid sense of line that suggests the ebb and flow of tide and current. Together, author and illustrator convey a self-contained world that's immensely satisfying, one just made to order for that last call for a book before lights out. Ages 3-7. (Mar.)