Friday, August 21, 2009

Sun and Star






Kane Miller
Natalie Jane Prior; Illustrations by Anna Pignataro

I think it can be a bit of a struggle to find beautiful board books. Typically, these chunky books made expressly for toddlers lean towards humorous text, often with bright colors set against plain backgrounds. I do enjoy those type of board books, but also welcome the softer tones and quiet words of Sun and Star. They offer the great indestructible board book format we all love, but with a slightly more traditional, old-fashioned appearance.


Sun is about all the places and animals affected as the sun rises in the morning. It wakes the birds and the grazing cow in the sweet meadow and shines straight through the wax-filled hives to rouse the bees. The barn mice are greeted good morning by the sun's warm rays in their cozy nests each morning. And of course, children worldwide can feel the sun streaming through their windows, signaling them to hop out of bed and start their day!


The companion book, Star, takes a similar approach to the night sky. Just as the sun wakes us for the day, the star's soft light lets us know when bedtime is drawing near. The little star looks out over the clear water and sees everything on the ocean, even the sailor's little black cat nestled in the bottom of the sailor's boat. The star shines down on lambs in the pasture, their eyes heavy with sleep. The star shines over the houses, and spies the baby sleeping in his crib. Night time has come for everyone.


Both books are beautifully illustrated with muted colors and flowing lines. The watercolors by Anna Pignataro are completely magical - it's like having a tiny set of paintings created just for you. Repetitive, rhythmic text make these the perfect books to reach for at bedtime or before the afternoon nap. Sun encourages the world awake with its bright rays, while Star settles the world back to sleep with its soft gleam. Two truly lovely board books that would make a great gift for new parents.
 

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