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Hume, Stephen Eaton
Illustrated by Regolo Ricci Don Mills (Ont.), Oxford University Press, 1992. 24pp, galley, $15.95
ISBN 195408764. CIP

Subject Headings:
Domestic animals-Fiction.
Farm life-Fiction.

Preschool-grade 1 / Ages 4-6

Reviewed by Patricia L.M. Butler

Volume 20 Number 5
1992 October

This is Hume's first children's book. The gentle, descriptive language lures reader and listener closer to sleepy time as it paints the pictures of a small boy's view of his world as it heads for sleep. Horses, field mice, fish and dogs are quietly descending into the land of Nod, while ships and trucks quietly carry on into the night. Hume's word paintings are a delight to the senses.

Every line or two of text is accompanied by a two-page illustration. In oils, Ricci has created a darkly detailed world that contributes to the overall calm of the book. There are plenty of enchanting details for young eyes in his re-creation of a mid-century farm, but the depth of colour and detail at times lends a more ominous tone (in particular to the cat) that may disconcert the younger audience headed for bed.

This would be a reasonable addition to an already solid collection. Its appeal is to the four-to six-year-old set, who would get the most satisfaction from the language used and its pictorial embellishment.

Patricia L.M. Butler is a former teacher-librarian in West Vancouver, British Columbia
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