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ON MORNING WINGS by Reeve Lindbergh


by Reeve Lindbergh, illustrated by Holly Meade

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-7636-1106-9
Publisher: Candlewick

Lindbergh first recast Psalm 139 in simple, rhymed couplets in her anthology In Every Tiny Grain of Sand (2000). Here, Caldecott Honor Medalist Meade (Hush, 1996) expands the verse with watercolor and collage using geometric forms and color both matte and translucent to create satisfying, accessible images. In the frontispiece, a little girl peers down from her top bunk to see if her little brother, snuggled with his bear, is awake yet. The siblings (and the bear) proceed on a sunlit day to frolic with two friends, one a dark-skinned boy, the other a café-au-lait girl. They climb trees, build sandcastles, play in and by the lake, toast marshmallows, and at last turn in for the night, flashlight at the ready, in a tent outside. The text begins, “Lord, you look at me and know me, / Every step I take, you show me.” It continues through the sense of the psalm, “When I’m lonely, you are near, / When I’m angry, you stay here. / High as heaven bright, you greet me, / Down in darkness, too, you meet me.” The Divine as an all-caring presence is underscored in the structure of the pictures: no adults appear, but the activities, like boating and building a campfire, imply adult action in loving support and unobtrusive care. There is a certain heaviness to the beat of the couplet format, but that is mitigated somewhat by pictorial clarity and sincere reverence. (Picture book. 4-8)