cover image Lullaby for the King

Lullaby for the King

Nikki Grimes, illus. by Michelle Carlos. Beaming, $19.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-5064-8562-1

Beginning “one magnificent morning in Israel,/ when the sun warmed the Great Salt Sea,” Grimes imagines in reverent, distinctive verse a lengthy caravan of creatures bearing gifts for the Bethlehem-born babe—“the Holy One.” From Antelope, who carries a “fragile flask of alabaster/ tied round her neck/ and filled with perfume of myrrh,” to Peacock, who “paraded proudly,/ a pomegranate perched atop his head,” and Tortoise, who trudges with a tambourine on its back, a menagerie of animals rise wondrously to the occasion, peaceably wending their way to greet the Christ child, whose family is portrayed with brown skin. Carlos uses greens, pinks, and purples in engaging, saturated art, en route to a moving stable denouement featuring a lullaby sung by attendant angels. Sheet music and lyrics conclude. Ages 4–8. (Oct.)