Before Morning

Before Morning. Joyce Sidman. Illustrated by Beth Krommes. 2016. HMH. 48 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: In the deep woolen dark, as we slumber unknowing, let the sky fill with flurry and flight.

Premise/plot: Before Morning is not a picture book; it is a poetic ‘invocation.’ A young child longing for a snow day, a family snow day–and putting all that longing into words. The text is spare–for better or worse. The illustrations tell the story. It is almost as if the text and illustrations switched jobs. The text give some shape to the story, and, they are certainly lovely, in their own way. But if for whatever reason you don’t grasp the story through the illustrations, then, it can be a confusing read. (You might have to read the illustrations carefully and slowly a few times to follow the characters.) The text leans more toward the abstract than STORY.

My thoughts: Personally, Before Morning isn’t my kind of book. For poetry lovers, yes, this one might work well. Or for art lovers. The illustrations are incredibly rich in detail, and, they are distinct. (The kind of art that says, PUT AN AWARD STICKER ON ME, PLEASE.) But in terms of story, it didn’t wow me.

Text: 3 out of 5
Illustrations: 5 out of 5
Total: 8 out of 10

© 2017 Becky Laney of Becky’s Book Reviews

SOURCE: Becky’s Book Reviews – Read entire story here.

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