Thursday, February 15, 2024


 Hyewon Yum’s illustrations bring vibrancy to “Night Song,” a picture book for children ages 4-8 written with gentle humor by Mk Smith Depres. Our hero is Bernardo, a frog who loves the sound of early-morning birdsong and has a slightly confused idea of its role in how each day unfurls: “With the help of the songbirds, the sun did its work,” we read. “It gently unfolded the flowers, dried the night-damp stones, and leaned upon the backs of leaves to dance across the forest floor.”

Bernardo wishes that he too could “make the whole woods happy,” and so, in obedience to a storytelling pattern that is perhaps too common, he tries to act like something he is not, in this case pretending to be bird- and sun-like. His efforts are doomed, of course. Only when Bernardo accepts that he has value as he is—as a chorister of froggy “night song”—does he find contentment. The conceit may be overly familiar, but with its inventive text and appealing pictures, this is a special book nonetheless.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.