Sunday, July 14, 2019

Review - Merbaby's Lullaby

Merbaby's Lullaby
by Jane Yolen
illustrated by Elizabeth O. Dulemba
Date: 2019
Publisher: Little Simon
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 24
Format: e-book
Source: library

From New York Times bestselling author Jane Yolen comes a lilting lullaby from the bottom of the sea.

Hush, foam rocker,
sleep, wave breaker.
Close your eyes and dream,
tide breaker.

A hush-filled bedtime rhyme for parents to share with their newborns, Merbaby’s Lullaby is an underwater cradlesong written by Jane Yolen and illustrated by Elizabeth O. Dulemba. Join a mermaid as she helps her merbaby to sleep, rocking with the gentle waves, singing with the whispering whales, and settling in with sea stars lighting the way to sweet dreams.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

This bedtime board book for toddlers left me a little underwhelmed. Don't get me wrong... the pictures are lovely! But the rhyming text leaves something to be desired. It's not bad; it's just very simple and very poetic... so poetic, in fact, that I question whether toddlers will be able to really understand it.

However, given that it's a book obviously intended for bedtime reading, perhaps it doesn't really matter if it's understandable by little kids. They'll probably take a look at the adorable pictures and enjoy seeing the little merbaby in their environment, getting ready for bed in their home under the waves. The illustrations are really where this book's strength lies. The merbaby swims through the ocean and sees all their friends: an octopus, starfish, stingrays, whales, crabs, and plenty of fish. The colours are nice and bright (but not too bright), and the gender-neutral merbaby and universal story (everyone has to go to bed... even merbabies!) make this book a good choice for all youngsters.

I guess I just find it difficult to get excited about board books. Usually, there's not enough text/story for me. In this case, the amount of words is okay; I just question the highly poetic nature of them. I mean, I'm an adult and I'm still puzzling a little over "foam rocker" (especially given that the accompanying illustration is of a dolphin blowing bubble rings for the merbaby).

Premise: 4/5
Meter: 3/5
Writing: 3/5
Illustrations: 4/5
Originality: 3/5

Enjoyment: 3/5

Overall: 3.29 out of 5

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