________________ CM . . . . Volume VIII Number 13 . . . . March 1, 2002

cover Singing the Dark.

Gail Sproule. Illustrated by Sheena Lott.
Toronto, ON: Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2001.
32 pp., cloth, $19.95.
ISBN 1-55041-648-0.

Subject Headings:
Bedtime-Fiction.
Singing-Fiction.
Night-Fiction.

Preschool-grade 2 / Ages 3-7.

Review by Ruth McMahon.

*** /4

exerpt:

By the stone step at the edge
of the garden, flowers
are closing and colors
are fading.

Kaylie stands quiet,
but tingles all over,
listening while Mother
calls the dark to emerge.

Kaylie begs her mom to "sing the dark." Her mother submits to Kaylie's pleading, and they head out into the yard to sing:

inside art

Calling warm, velvet darkness
to blanket the ground
making day things sleepy
and wakening the night.

     When their job is done, they return to their house with Kaylie reminding her mother the night will need singing again tomorrow.

     Gail Sproule's text is poetic and the language rich. The child's ceaseless fascination with the cycle of the day is the inspiration for this title. The story celebrates the parent-child relationship and the magical relationship between Mother Nature and humans. I think the text could be strengthened with the omission of a few "ands" and "buts," but that may be personal taste and does not detract from the story.

     Sheena Lott's watercolours are exquisite, and the mixture of warm, vivid colours and cool, muted colours are perfect matches for the text.

Recommended

Ruth McMahon worked as a professional children's librarian for 13 years and is currently co-chairing Alberta's Rocky Mountain Book Award.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.

Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364

NEXT REVIEW |TABLE OF CONTENTS FOR THIS ISSUE - March 1, 2002.

AUTHORS | TITLES | MEDIA REVIEWS | PROFILES | BACK ISSUES | SEARCH | CMARCHIVE | HOME