cover image Where is the Night Train Going?: Bedtime Poems

Where is the Night Train Going?: Bedtime Poems

Eileen Spinelli. Boyds Mills Press, $14.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-1-56397-171-6

Although its title seems to promise moon-kissed metaphors and dreamy rhythms, this collection of lilting verse ventures far beyond its stated theme. It's difficult, for example, to see what a poem about soaring ""on borrowed wings/ of Poetry"" or another about feeling the ""tickle"" in a field of goldenrod has to do with bedtime. Among poems dedicated to bedtime and slumber, ""Counting Sheep to Get to Sleep"" describes rambunctious sheep (""The next time I can't get to sleep/ I'll try warm milk"") and ""I Don't Believe in Bigfoot"" is about not yielding to scary nighttime monsters (""I'm hoping with my fingers crossed/ They don't believe in me""). Spinelli's (Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch) poems are by turn contemplative, funny and sweet, all couched in language easily accessible to her audience. Populated by Mercer Mayer-type children and grinning animals, Moore's (Songs of Summer) colored pencil and watercolor illustrations offer few surprises in an otherwise pleasant volume. Ages 4-8. (Feb.)