Addressed primarily to adults interested in singing these traditional songs to their children, this collection includes 29 lullabies from countries including Japan, Nigeria, Malawi and Greenland.
On some double-page spreads, a common theme runs through several lullabies, such as one in which the singer warns the baby about the grey wolf in the Russian song “Hushabye, Baby, Hush,” the witch Befana in the Italian “Ninna, Nanna” or the “scary night monster” in “Tutu Maramba,” a Brazilian selection. Food is highlighted on another spread, with “Candy Floss” from Iraq, “Sugar, Bread and Butter,” a Hindi song from India, “Black-Eyed Peas with Onions” from Turkey and the Mexican “Stir, Stir the Chocolate!” (usually regarded as a game song). Music for about half the lullabies is provided. Most songs are printed in their original languages, but lullabies in languages such as Arabic and Korean are transliterated instead of being rendered in original scripts. Animated oil-and–colored-pencil paintings show adults and children in fully-realized landscapes, city streets, marketplaces and bedrooms. Because several lullabies often appear in each double-page spread, however, the illustration only relates to one culture, a disconnect that may annoy the multicultural purist. Acknowledgements mostly note individuals, not print sources, because the songs are from the oral tradition.
This attractive presentation is appropriate as a baby gift, for daycare and preschool collections and public libraries. (sheet music) (Picture book. birth-5)