BookDragon Books for the Diverse Reader

Song for a Summer Night: A Lullaby by Robert Heidbreder, illustrated by Qin Leng

Song for a Summer Night by Robert Heidbreder on BookDragonIn spite of the thunderous rainy hail that greeted me upon arrival at the Salt Lake City airport on Thursday night, I’ve convinced myself that summer really is on the way in these here mountainous parts! And mark my words: I’m looking forward to the star-gazing tonight, even if I have to do it in a down parka with umbrella in hand:

Day’s left the stage.
Night’s in the wings.
The summer air sings
what a summer night brings.

Here on Canadian poet and author Robert Heidbreder’s pages, you’ll find the children anticipating the “whispering leaves / [that] tell of night’s spell,” the fireflies that “sparkle the scene,” night owls who “weave a musical strain,” and dogs that bounce with “happy leap bounds.” Heidbreder adds an alliterative, onomatopoeic repetition that grows with each stanza, echoing the nights’ multiplying beckonings, from “shh-shh” to “glint-glint” to “pring-pring” to “scratch-scratch” and more. The summer night lullaby croons on. “The children are spellbound” with good reason, until “singing dreams” overtake them and morning returns once more.

Shanghai-born, Toronto-domiciled artist Qin Leng creates the perfect landscape in which summer’s songs inspire frolicsome dancing and leaps of joy right off the page. Her distinctive, unadorned, striking style captures expressions of wonder, curiosity, exploration, on all sorts of faces both human and animal alike. The atmosphere Heidbreder suggests with letters, Leng amplifies with soft colors, dreamy images, and blended backgrounds.

Go ahead: get ready to snuggle in and share this summer lullaby tonight.

Readers: Children

Published: 2015


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