Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Before Morning - a bookwrap

"Storywraps… wrap your mind and heart around a good book"


Authored by Joyce Sidman 
(Newberry Honor winner)

Illustrated by Beth Krommes
(Caldecott Medalist)

Before Morning, was just named a 2016 Best Book of the Year by Publisher’s Weekly and School Library Journal:

"With spare language and dazzling scratchboard artwork, Sidman and Krommes conjure the world-transforming magic of a blizzard. As night falls, a girl makes an almost incantatory wish for a snowstorm that might just keep her pilot mother home for a little longer.”

It’s also received SIX starred reviews!

Unwrapping some amazing illustrations...

About the book...

This tender and charming tale has a beautiful way of slowing you down and making you reflect on the wonder of the world around you.  It is like a mediative pause in your crazy, busy life.  

"Before Morning" focuses on the magic and awe of a snow day.  It begins with eight pages of stunning illustrations that portray a mother and child walking home through a bustling city at twilight.  As they arrive at their apartment you observe that the table is set ready for dinner,  the parents are expressing hugs on their arrival, but as you look closer you notice that the face of the child portrays sadness.  Why you ponder?   The last page of illustrations shows the mother sitting on her child's bed wishing her goodnight and sweet dreams.  The mother is attired in a pilot's uniform and on the child's bed is a copy of the book "Amelia Earhart."  It seems that the mother has got to off to work and not only is she saying goodnight to her child but also goodbye to her little one.  

"In the deep wooden dark, as we slumber unknowing, let the sky fill with flurry and flight."

Sidman explains as an afterword that "Before Morning" is written as an "invocation - a poem that invites something to happen, often using for help or support." As the book progresses and the text flows on, she asked that the "air turn to feathers, the earth turn to sugar," as she asks for snow to fall.  

We get a glimpse of city dwellers coping with their blanket of the fluffy white snow, weary, worried travellers sequestered at the airport, watching snow heavily float down outside the windows as Sidman asks to let "urgent plans flounder," and let "pathways be hidden from sight."  

As the story proceeds we realize that the child's prayer is wishing for the mother's return and to have that wish granted. deli"Please - just this once- change the world before morning make it slow and delightful... and white."  Will her wish be granted?  Will the ending be like a fairytale... with wishes coming true and living happily ever after - at least for one morning?  

This is a more than perfect bedtime story, snuggle up in a warm cosy bed, on a  blustery snowy night, with the promise of when you awaken you will be greeted by a snowy day come your morning.  This truly would be a gift that you can embrace, gain a pause,  and enjoy not only in your morning time but all through your day putting that busy day on hold until tomorrow.  

About the author...

 Joyce Sidman is the winner of the 2013 NCTE Award for Excellence in Children's Poetry, which is given every two years to a living American poet in recognition of his or her aggregate work. She is the author of many award-winning children’s poetry books, including the Newbery Honor-winning Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night, and two Caldecott Honor books: Song of the Water Boatman and Other Pond Poems (also a Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award winner) and Red Sings from Treetops: A Year in Colors (which won the Claudia Lewis Poetry Award). She teaches poetry writing to school children and participates in many national poetry events. Her recent book, What the Heart Knows: Chants, Charms & Blessings, has been critically acclaimed and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award. Joyce lives with her husband and dog near a large woodland in Wayzata, Minnesota.

About the illustrator...

I have loved art since my early childhood in Emmaus, PA. My parents, four sisters, and many relatives encouraged me. I earned a BFA in painting from Syracuse University (which included a year abroad in London at St. Martin's School of Art), and an MAT in art education from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. Before turning to editorial illustration in 1989, I taught art in a public school, managed a fine handcraft shop, and art directed a computer magazine. I've been a children's book illustrator since my first book, Grandmother Winter, came out in 1999. I'm still amazed and humbled that in 2009 my sixth book, The House in the Night by Susan Marie Swanson, won the Caldecott Medal.

I live in Peterborough, NH with my husband and two daughters. My mission is to create art that is joyful in spirit, universal in nature, and that is accessible and affordable to others.

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It's a wrap.

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