From morning to night, various forest creatures cavort in idyllic scenes.
Each double-page spread includes full-bleed art and two lines of a rhyming quatrain that carries over to the page turn: “Sun rises. / Bird sings. // Squirrel wakes. / Branches swing.” Bees fly, fish swing, rabbits leap, and more, and in the end, Owl hoots and awakens as several diurnal critters curl up for the night. Thompson’s richly colored, stylized cartoons rendered with a thick, black line and layered with fabriclike accents are an uneven mix of styles. Some are reminiscent of folk art (a school of fish), others are quirky cartoons (a squirrel swings monkey-style from a tree), and still others are graphically simple (a rabbit bounds through the air). The book suffers from its relatively small (6 inches square) trim size. Some of the animals are too large for the scene or too many critters, as in the finale, are crammed on a spread, giving it all a claustrophobic feel. Despite these flaws, Thompson's talent manages to shine through, boding well for subsequent outings.
A handsome mixed bag. (Board-book. 1-3)