Twinkle, Twinkle, Winter Night

HarperCollins/Clarion. Sept. 2022. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780358572046.
PreS-Gr 2–Lights from many sources brighten the countryside, the streets of a busy town, and bedrooms in this poetic homage to snowy nighttime. Brief descriptive lines of verse focus on scene setting, barely hinting at the presence of animals and humans. Full-color scenes across spreads add participants to the evolving views. Night begins quietly. A man and child, dressed for cold winter, stand outside a house and are invited into the snowy landscape. Scenes shift, sometimes abruptly, as children skate on an icy pond and a child runs off downhill. Then, the quiet woods are suddenly replaced by a busy town. While winter holidays are not mentioned, a tall, decorated tree stands in the crowded street, house fronts include stars in varied forms, and an outdoor screen shows a large sketch of a menorah. Flat digital figures of animals and round-eyed children resemble paper collage. Featured humans have dark complexions, and occupants of town streets and bedrooms are diverse. A few depictions strike odd notes—for example, one skater, holding a cardboard beverage container aloft, has a crude and garish face as she observes the decorated town, and woodland animals, side by side, are oddly arched in size. The well-shaped complementary scheme of pictures and verse invites readers to linger over the broad views, and the repeated title refrain will be a memorable reminder for personal enjoyment of winter nights.
VERDICT A pleasant seasonal choice for bedtime and read aloud sharing, likely most meaningful for children living where heavy snow does appear in early winter.

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