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by Kate Spohn, illustrated by Kate Spohn

Age Range: 2 - 5

Pub Date: May 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-679-89175-7
Publisher: Random House

Spohn’s mermaid babies and their mer-parents flatter the lilt of the text, and bring an engrossing otherworldliness to each page of this lullaby. The imagery is honeyed—babies with little shell-like ears and starfish-like hands are tucked into seaweed sheets, a serenade is comprised of the sounds of fiddler crabs, tapping sea urchins, and singing whales--and the tone and cadence are pleasingly dulcet. The book closes with a celebration that the mer-folk conduct as their young head for dreamland (“Listen to the bubbly voices of mer-mommies and daddies/as they hang found-lost treasure in the ocean-ashed ballroom/and sweep shell shapes into the sandy floor”). The illustrations are a pastel swarm of aquas and turquoise and warm yellows, the edges softened as though seen through water. To all this Spohn adds a judicious icing of golden glitter that, for once, is less a gimmick and more a suggestion of the sparkle of light. (Picture book. 2-5)