Those wishing to cultivate a state of wakefulness would do well to avoid this book at all costs.
Glimpses of forests, meadows, lakes, farms, and seas all help to soothe restless child readers as bedtime draws near. With a balanced and fluid text, Leone draws readers into a blue-tinged nightscape where “Moths with powdery wings so soft / gently stir the air aloft.” As depicted by Engel in pleasant, digital art, stylized parent animals in a variety of landscapes tuck in their offspring and one another, first insects, then plants, birds, sea creatures, farm animals, woodland dwellers, and then a beige-skinned mother and child. The repeated line “Nature’s lullaby fills the night” rounds out every sequence. The book carefully eschews the excitement of the day for the comfort of night. Although it does its job very well, however, it feels studiedly generic, and there is little here that makes it stand out from the countless lullaby and bedtime books gone before. For nighttime fare that doesn’t sacrifice interest for sleep, consider similar nature books such as Richard Jackson and Katherine Tillotson’s All Ears, All Eyes (2017) or Rita Gray and Kenard Pak’s When the World Is Dreaming (2016). That said, as a soporific tool, this book might well lull parents and children alike into a stupor.
Snoozeworthy. (Picture book. 3-6)