Venetian Lullaby

Page Street. Jan. 2021. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781645670841.
PreS-K–Enchanted watercolor clouds of winged lions, seahorses, and dragonflies float over the watery canals of Venice, blending with the voices of two parents singing their baby to sleep. Mother, a pale-skinned gondolier, navigates her family through the watery passages of Venice, as a brown-skinned father tenderly cradles and sings his baby a lullaby inspired by the sights and sounds of their surroundings. The rhythmic lullaby, like the lapping of the water beneath the gondola, carries the family past the bell tower and domes of St. Mark’s Basilica and everyday life in Venice. Colorful curtains from open windows and laundry hung to dry dance in the wind. Racially diverse crowds of people mingle outside cafes and greet each other as they pass over bridges. Roth’s love song for Venice magically blends with Binney’s stunning acrylic, watercolor, and digital illustrations to bring this dreamy lullaby to life. The eyes of young and older readers alike will linger over each illustration, absorbing the magic of the dreamscape. Though the mother is ever present, the father’s gentle love for his child is the focal point of this spellbinding story.
VERDICT An exquisite and essential purchase for public libraries; a pitch-perfect bedtime story, this is sure to conjure beautiful dreams.

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