cover image Day Is Done

Day Is Done

Peter Yarrow, , illus. by Melissa Sweet. . Sterling, $16.95 (24pp) ISBN 978-1-4027-4806-6

Caldecott Honor artist Sweet (A River of Words: The Life of William Carlos Williams ) effectively uses animal parent and child pairs to lighten the hopeful yet somber message of Yarrow’s (Puff, the Magic Dragon ) folk song, which he first performed with the trio Peter, Paul and Mary. Watercolor and mixed-media art reveals members of each animal family tenderly gazing into each others’ eyes in placid woodland settings shown in cool earth tones punctuated by shocks of brilliant color: scarlet berries, magenta lily pads, crimson toadstools. Together, the animals eventually approach a house in which a father lovingly tucks his son into bed. The boy’s bright yellow room exudes comfort, and even when storm clouds threaten, there’s no real menace in any of Sweet’s depictions of nature; yet in concert with Yarrow’s verse, the overall effect is somewhat haunting. A CD tucked into the back cover features Yarrow and his daughter Bethany singing “Day Is Done” (plus two traditional songs, “I Know Where I’m Going” and “Dona Dona Dona,” with new words and music by the author). Ages 3–7. (Oct.)