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by Pam Conrad & illustrated by Richard Cowdrey

Age Range: 3 - 7

Pub Date: Oct. 30th, 1997
ISBN: 0-06-024718-5
Publisher: HarperCollins

Various adult creatures--among them, prairie dogs, oysters, beavers, crocodiles--sing their children to sleep in their own particular styles. The swan's lullaby (to "swanlings" instead of cygnets) is smooth and mesmerizing, the giraffe is quietly reassuring. Some of the others are downright noisy: The mother beaver calls her babies home with a "SLAP! SLAP! WHACKUM!" of her tail, and the mother crocodile threatens to eat intruders alive in "Alligator Lullaby." In a final twist, the owl mother gently sings her daughter awake. Cowdrey sets the mood with midnight blue endpapers spangled with stars and a crescent moon. His stylized illustrations present the animals from a variety of interesting angles. Many of the illustrations appear to be silvered by moonlight, and the book has a pleasant design with framed full-page illustrations facing text printed on blocks of shaded color. For purists, occasional inconsistencies detract from the whole--the name of baby swans, for example, or the chimpanzees in the picture that accompanies "Monkey Lullaby." Overall, though, it's a very pleasant bedtime book. (Picture book. 3-7)