This quietly beautiful picture book for toddlers and preschoolers takes the traditional lullaby, “Hush, little baby,” as its premise, adapting the lyrics somewhat so that various extended family members may bestow treats and presents on a beloved child. The story moves quickly in its musically inspired rhythm, so that re-reading becomes necessary in order to save the subtle, picturesque details. The very young reader will doubtless wish to re-read in any case, as the catchy, familiar rhythm seems to compel repetition.
While the pastel-hued Victoria characters have the old-fashioned feel of Beatrix Potter or Cicely Mary Barker illustrations, Paul Howard’s watercolor and crayon paintings feature charming contemporary touches that modern families will appreciate, such as father baking a cake and bathing the child in an ornate basin.
Clearly geared toward a white, solidly middle-class audience, Mockingbird excels in its evocation of a half-remembered, half-mythical era of loving, multigenerational family life. Candlewick Press? reliably classy presentation in a conveniently sized hardcover and large, easy-to-read font makes this book a worthy addition to the family treasury of stories.
Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the author for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.