cover image Day Breaks

Day Breaks

Bethea Verdorn. Arcade Publishing, $14.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-1-55970-187-7

In an appealingly unaffected text and soft-hued, naturalistic illustrations, the creators of Moon Glows depict varied American landscapes gradually awakening. This intimate book's especial inventiveness is its alternation between panoramic vistas and small-scale scenes of indigenous wild life--a kitten, a lizard, a frog. The back-and-forth rhythm proves compelling, as for example on one impressive spread in which the ``canyon echoes with morning calls. / Rocks turn into rainbows at the dawn's first light''; in a close-up on the next spread, ``Eagle soars to her nest!'' Graham's painterly artwork offers a thoughtful selection of locales, from wooded mountain terrain to arid desert, from coastal waters to rustic interiors. The final image shows a human child waking up in the safety of her bedroom, just as the sun wedges through the blinds. With its sweeping naturescapes and more intimate portrayals of animals and birds, this gentle, finely crafted book should easily captivate youngsters as it subtly introduces them to geographic concepts. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)