Before Morning by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Beth Krommes

Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt


Summary:  The entire book is an invocation (defined in the author’s note as a poem that invites something to happen) to “change the world before morning”.  As the poem unfolds, we see a girl sadly saying goodbye to her mother one evening.  As the girl and her father sleep, the mother, dressed in an airline pilot’s uniform, drives through an increasingly heavy snow.  By the time she reaches the airport, the planes are covered, and she’s forced to get a ride home in a snow plow.  The world has indeed been changed, and it results in the family getting to spend a snow day together, eating a leisurely breakfast, sledding, and stopping at the bakery for hot chocolate.  48 pages, ages 4-7.

Pros:  Newbery honoree Sidman pairs with Caldecott winner Krommes to create a beautiful, evocative book that perfectly captures the feeling of a snow day.  I would love to see this book get some kind of Caldecott recognition; the scratchboard pictures are gorgeously detailed.  Keep on hand to read right before a snowstorm.

Cons:  I found myself wishing for a snow day in mid-October.

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