BAYOU LULLABY by Kathi Appelt

BAYOU LULLABY

by & illustrated by
Age Range: 2 - 5
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 A Louisiana lullaby, set to honeyed Cajun verse. Appelt (Elephants Aloft, Harcourt, 1993) creates a gentle and comforting work: creatures of the swamp snooze under the moon, both father and mother spend hushed moments readying the child for bed, fireflies flicker through the dark. Appelt nicely limns the rhythms of the bayou (``His silver notes be settlin' down/To soothe the alligators/Now go to sleep, petite chÇrie/My little sweet potato'') complete with the snatches of French (identified in a short list of ``Cajun Pronunciations'' up front) that make it authentic. Waldman's illustrations have a rather ham-handed relation to the lullaby; these are nocturnal hybrids, perhaps the crossing of Maxfield Parrish with Peter Maxx. Each painting is built around one word from the verse on that page--firefly, pirogue, tadpole--and don't capture the atmosphere of the poem. As a result, there is little flow between images, and much of the lyricism would be lost if Appelt's verse weren't strong enough to stand on its own. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: March 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0-688-12856-4
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 1995




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