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Before Morning

There are planes to fly and buses to catch, but a child uses the power of words, in the form of an invocation, to persuade fate to bring her family a snow day, a day slow and unhurried enough to spend at home together. Together, in a world that is "slow and delightful and white," they will sled down a steep hill together and even visit a bakery that the little girl has wistfully looked at whenever they pass.

In a spare text that reads as pure song and illustrations of astonishingly beautiful scratchboard art, Sidman and Krommes remind us that sometimes, if spoken from the heart, wishes really can come true.

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"'In the deep woolen dark, / as we slumber unknowing, / let the sky fill with flurry and flight.' This haunting invocation summons geese, snowflakes, and a heavy whiteness that refracts the golden city lights. Krommes shows viewers the city from the rooftops, from the back of goose wings, and from the statues in the park. When the poem says, 'Let urgent plans founder,' we see the airport waiting room, where the mother gazes out at snowplows under the planes as a sign announces flight cancellations....[As a] stunning series of scratchboard (similar to woodcut) and watercolor pictures reveal, the petitioner is a girl who longs to have both her parents home with her....This simply perfect book is a must-have piece of portable poetry and art for all collections." — Susan Weitz, School Library Journal

Product Details

Recommended Age 4 - 8
Author Joyce Sidman
Illustrator Beth Krommes
ISBN 0547979177
Publication Date Oct 4, 2016
Publisher HMH Books for Young Readers
Language English