Lyrics to a song from the album “Lullaby” are adapted by the composer/lyricist as a tender expression of maternal love.
Mother evokes everything that is lovely and ethereal to demonstrate her joy at having this baby in her life. There are moonbeams, twinkling stars and “endless blue skies.” All of this is to wish that only sweet dreams follow the child forever. There are some lovely images, and the emotions are heartfelt, but there is a major problem with construction and syntax in this adaptation. If the lyrics are to be read as poetry, they lack structure and consistency of rhyme and rhythm. “Like a dream I am falling into silver threads lined with dew” and “Each breath that you breathe is a brushstroke that leads me to you” are awkwardly worded and essentially meaningless statements. Bates’ chalk and gouache illustrations on chalkboard-painted paper are greatly appealing. Backgrounds of deep, dark night skies highlighted with bright yellow stars and constellations are filled with clever details that come as close as possible to conveying literal meaning to the vagaries of the text. Rather than reading aloud, adults might want to preview the song on the included CD and perhaps play the song and sing along while showing the pictures to their little ones.
Well intentioned, but this song doesn’t work in picture-book format. (Picture book. 1-4)