• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • Stop wasting time looking for files and revisions! Dokkio, a new product from the PBworks team, integrates and organizes your Drive, Dropbox, Box, Slack and Gmail files. Sign up for free.



Page history last edited by RichiesPicks 3 years, 4 months ago

15 November 2016 BEFORE MORNING by Joyce Sidman and Beth Krommes, ill., Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, October 2016, 48p., ISBN: 978-0-547-97917-5


“Let the air turn to feathers,

the earth turn to sugar,

and all that is heavy turn light.

Let quick things be swaddled,

let urgent plans founder,

let pathways be hidden from sight.”


As usual, I’d brought along a backpack full of newly-arrived picture books to share with my three-and-a-half year-old grandson, who has recently become a big brother. As he and I sat together on the couch, me reading him one book after another, his mother and great-grandmother periodically walked through the room, as they tidied up the house and cared for the newborn twins upstairs.


But I’d only gotten a couple of pages into reading aloud the poetic text of BEFORE MORNING before I suddenly found myself as the filling of a four-generation sandwich. And, as I continued to turn the pages, there was repeated ooh-ing and ahh-ing as they peered over my shoulders, pointing and commenting on Beth Krommes’s magical scratchboard illustrations of a snowy night and a busy world grinding to a halt.


I’m not surprised. I have long been a fan of Krommes’s unique style. Recently, having learned that Hillary Clinton would be stopping by our local headquarters for a surprise visit, I took advantage of the opportunity by presenting her a signed copy of Krommes’s Caldecott Medal-winning THE HOUSE IN THE NIGHT to share with her grandkids.


BEFORE MORNING is a similarly distinguished, melodic, and satisfying picture book.


In BEFORE MORNING, a young girl’s mother is an airline pilot who is scheduled to go off to work before morning. In the wordless introduction to the story, the child displays resistance to the inevitable departure. Joyce Sidman’s poem then expresses the child’s wish for a snow day.


Sure enough, an ensuing blizzard grounds the flights, and the mother catches a ride back home from the airport with a snow plow operator. With the sun up, and the world a fairyland, the parents, the child, and the family dog all head off with their toboggan for the local sledding hill.


Written in the form of an invocation, this glorious tale of a snowy wish-come-true evokes childhood memories of untouched, newly-fallen snow; red freezing hands; running noses, and those little clumps of ice that accumulate along the edges of one’s winter coat sleeves after building snowmen and repeatedly falling off of sleds.


But this is a book for today. The other parent in the story is an equal partner who prepares the meals and cares for the child while the mother goes off to work. We also see a biography of Amelia Earhart on the child’s bedside table, a timely little reminder that girls can, indeed, do anything boys can do.


Richie Partington, MLIS

Richie's Pickshttp://richiespicks.pbworks.com





Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.