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MOTHER’S SONG by Ellin Greene

MOTHER’S SONG

A Lullaby

By Ellin Greene (Adaptor) , Elizabeth Sayles (Illustrator)

Age Range: 0 - 3

Pub Date: March 17th, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-618-71527-7
Publisher: Clarion

Greene, respected folklorist, storyteller and early-childhood expert, revives a 19th-century English nursery love song originally penned by the Reverend Sabine Baring-Gould in 1895. In that magical place between awake and asleep, and with the assistance of friendly fauna, flora and fairies, a mother waxes rhapsodic on the love she bears her baby. “There’s not a rose where e’er I seek / As comely as my baby’s cheek.” Sayles’s illustrations are reminiscent of children’s-book art of yesteryear—lush, large-scale powdery pastel paintings, washed with dusky lavenders, peaches and greens. There is a lovely harmony between the visual and verbal elements here, making this a sibilant, sentimental mood piece, particularly appropriate for new mothers. An erudite author’s note reveals the poetic pedigree and a musical notation is appended, the better to sing the refrain: “And it’s O! sweet, sweet! and a lullaby.” Readers will have to decide for themselves whether this one is archaic or timeless. (Picture book. 0-3)