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CITY LULLABY by Marilyn Singer


by Marilyn Singer & illustrated by Carll Cneut

Age Range: 3 - 7

Pub Date: Oct. 15th, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-618-60703-7
Publisher: Clarion

Inspired by Brooklyn’s cacophonous streetscapes, Singer’s cumulative rhyme counts down from ten to one: “Traffic jam, 10 horns beeping, / In the stroller, Baby’s sleeping.” Indeed, slumber continues throughout a riot of mechanical noise, until a chirping bird tweets Baby awake. Cneut’s full-bleed mixed-media paintings dispatch traditional perspective: Orange buildings lean, box-like yellow cabs careen and a multiethnic crowd works and plays, jammed up against the picture plane along with garbage cans, cell phones, pets and signs. Display type featuring sound words (“Grumble,” “Rinnnngggg”) overlays the wall-to-curb compositions. On the contrastingly serene white space above Singer’s text, Baby’s disembodied facial features (pale blue lashes, sleepy half-smile) float—until the waking page. There, a stylized, larger-than-life portrait of bright-eyed Baby looms, with text and art swapping sides. Cheerfully over-stimulating—a bit like the city itself. (Picture book/poetry. 3-7)