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CHELSEA MORNING by Joni Mitchell

CHELSEA MORNING

By Joni Mitchell (Author) , Brian Froud (Illustrator)

Age Range: 5 - 9

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-689-03593-4
Publisher: Milk & Cookies Press

Along with the dubious trend of celebrities writing books for children, there’s a rather less dubious one of making songs, traditional and otherwise, into picture books. Let it be said right off that the sparkling, playful language of this song is really quite wonderful on the page. The mischievous Froud, whose panoply of images includes both The Dark Crystal film and Lady Cottington’s Pressed Faery Book, has his own way with the lyrics. A girl with abundant, beribboned hair sits in bed with a sprite in striped pants floating above her. Turn the page and the “song outside my window” is a radiant, sparkling, winged creature. As the lyrics proceed through the “crimson crystal beads,” “a bowl of oranges,” and “incense owls . . . By candlelight / By jewel-light,” each facing picture reflects, expands, and moves in directions one might not predict. Full of Froud’s fairies, sprites, and creatures, they have a giddy, sly, or dangerous edge to them and present an interesting foil to the sunny-side-up lyrics. A little overblown for Mitchell, but there will be an audience. (Picture book. 5-9)