An inner-city lullaby from a black father to his son.
When the driving rain comes and the storm winds blow, this brown-skinned dad lovingly comforts his son by associating weather events with different types of music. The raging storm gets remixed into a song, the howling winds create nature’s voice, and the rushing waters play music. Like many other celebrity books, this one is didactic and preachy in its approach to addressing the child, who lacks any agency. In this rhyming poem (“radios sing in every home, / steady like the city’s metronome”), the scenes jump: from the child’s naptime to a band of multitalented black angels singing in heaven to the boy asleep in a yellow paper hat–turned-boat in a city gutter next to the fast-moving shoes of city dwellers. The artwork, which Myers composed with Kaa Illustration (the Vietnam-based team Phung Nguyen Quang and Huyn Kim Lien), looks cartoonish and far inferior to most of Myers’ other work. But it would be easy to miss who illustrated the book upon first glance. It would even be easy to miss the title; Timbaland’s name so thoroughly dominates the book’s cover that most readers will easily mistake it for the book’s name.
Perhaps this lullaby should have been a song or rap; it certainly has little to offer as a book. (Picture book. 3-8)