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ALL FOR THE NEWBORN BABY by Phyllis Root Kirkus Star


by Phyllis Root & illustrated by Nicola Bayley

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-7636-0093-8
Publisher: Candlewick

To go with reverent, lovely manger scenes, Root draws images from several Christmas carols and songs for a tender lullaby in which birds, livestock, a spider, even a cherry tree attend on the holy infant. “Fireflies / Like tiny candles / Light the stable / Where you sleep. / Little fishes / In the river / Flash and splash / And laugh and leap.” The pages are designed to resemble those of late-Medieval illuminated manuscripts; rows of exactly rendered, finely detailed specimens of moths and butterflies, berries and wildflowers, are placed beneath views of a drowsily cheerful Jesus (not quite newborn, but nearly so), with Mary, Joseph, and a variety of animals gathered ’round. All are framed by wooden beams and placed within wide, stone-textured borders. Similar frames enclose the blocks of rhymed, short-lined text. Like Norma Farber’s All Those Mothers at the Manger (1985), there is no music to go with the lyric, but read aloud, the verse has a gently soporific rhythm—and the art is virtuoso work. Exquisite. (Picture book/poetry. 1-3)