Synopses & Reviews
A family trip turns into an adventure of discovery for a curious and carefree sister and brother. While the two explore the natural wonders of the seashore, woods, and fields, their parents plant trees as an offering of thanks for all they have received. In Jewish tradition, this is called tikkun olam
, or repairing the world. As the children settle down to sleep, they are lulled by the soothing sounds around them that become the refrain: "good night, laila tov
" — the same comforting words in English and Hebrew that their parents recite to them every night at bedtime.
Laurel Snyder's lilting poem is both a song of praise to the beauty of nature and a gentle lullaby. Jui Ishida's rich, jewel-tone illustrations illuminate the text and incorporate details that readers will love to discover.
"On a camping vacation that takes two Jewish children and their parents from the beach, where 'Tall grasses swayed. The salty air/ Was soft and still and everywhere,' to 'a place so great and green,/ The deepest field we've ever seen,' the family savors the gifts of nature and the rewards of environmental stewardship. (Mom and Dad have even brought along some trees to plant.) And in return, the whole world offers a kind of thanks and blessing that becomes Snyder's (Baxter, the Pig Who Wanted to Be Kosher) refrain: 'And the sky sang... Good night, laila tov.' Ishida (Somewhere So Sleepy) portrays a world that's all soft, lush colors and comfy, cushy contours. Her sunset scenes, which find the siblings sleeping while their parents set up camp, are perhaps a little too similar to those taking place in broad daylight (and some readers may wonder why the children spend so much of their vacation asleep). But the warmly lit spreads and loving, rosy-cheeked family are a nice match for Snyder's simple, lulling verse. Ages 3 – 6. Agent: Tina Wexler, ICM." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
When she's not out exploring the great green world with her kids, the indefatiguable LAUREL SNYDER writes picture books, among them Nosh, Schlep, Schluff: BabYiddish
; Baxter, the Pig Who Wanted to Be Kosher
; and Inside the Slidy Diner
, as well as the novels Bigger than a Breadbox
, Penny Dreadful
, Any Which Wall
, and Up and Down the Scratchy Mountains
. Originally from Baltimore, she now makes her home in Atlanta, conveniently close to an urban farm and a kudzu-tangled creek. Visit her at LaurelSnyder.com
JUI ISHIDA was born in Taiwan and raised in Japan. She studied illustration at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, and graduated with distinction. She has illustrated many children's books including Somewhere So Sleepy by Diane Muldrow, Sail Away, Little Boat by Janet Buell, and God Created by Mark Francisco Bozzuti-Jones. Jui lives in Long Beach, California, with her husband and two children.