Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Before Morning by Joyce Sidman & Illus by Beth Krommes

Did I tell you I have an illustration crush on Beth Krommes? I did Blue on Blue last summer and was mentioned that I was excited about this book coming out. While talking a children's literature class, I did some research on her and I found this blog post about her that was fascinating about how she creates her art. 

This is Sidman and Krommes second book together and it is so amazingly sweet and simple. 

It has everything to do with childhood helplessness and the gift of a free day in the form of a snow day. 

This little kid in the red touque is our hero. Watch her closely. 

She wants to stop and stare at the bakery window, but her mother has no time for that today. 

(I am that mother. Everyday Elsie wants to stomp through the snow beside the sidewalk on our way out of school and I am the impatient mother, telling her to do that when she gets home, just get in the car for crying out loud!)

They get home to a turkey dinner, but you can tell from the child's face that all is not well. In the next picture, you see her mother in pilot garb, clearly telling her daughter goodnight and goodbye. The daughter doesn't seem to want to let her go. 

Finally, words appear on the pages. Words so perfectly cozy and wish filled. At the end of the book Joyce Sidman discusses invocations. Words that make things happen. And the words in this book have all the force to make snow happen. 

In the deep woolen dark... 

The mother heads out while the others snooze.

But it is snowing in earnest now.

Let the air turn to feathers, 

Doesn't the image of snow geese wafting their downy feathers down as snow make you happy?

A city in snow

The airport founders

A new world of white

A world that means all flights are cancelled and Momma can be home for the day. 

Oh the joy! The gift of time.

A cozy, unhurried breakfast

And then setting out to explore this newly changed world.

I LOVE this picture!!

And the fact that they have a toboggan. I haven't seen a toboggan in years.

And in this free day, there is time to stop and stare. 

I like that the mother is still wanting to go, but isn't quite as blinded to what her daughter wants. 

Because let's face it. Even on "free" days, mothers sometimes have different ideas on how to spend time than their kids. But oh, the delight of having everything to yourself as a child. It happens so rarely in this world you can't control. But on this day, this one day, the world is yours. 

As an adult, I still feel like that sometimes. A day free from pulling. Oh the bliss! 

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