Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Leave Your Sleep: A Collection of Classic Children's Poetry

Leave Your Sleep: A Collection of Classic Children's Poetry
Collected and adapted to music by Natalie Merchant
Illustrated by Barbara McClintock
Farrar Straus Giroux 2012, Poetry, 48 pages

In the introduction, Merchant explains that she started working on this creative project when her own daughter was born. She chose 19 older, classic, children's poems and then set them to music. The poems are available as a book illustrated by Barbara McClintock, and the songs based on the poems are included on a CD attached inside the cover. The poems are varied and interesting.  Some are familiar, like Robert Lewis Stevenson's Land of Nod,  but most are less known.  McClintock's watercolor and ink illustrations match the mood of each poem.  The most delightful thing about this collection is Merchant's music.  Her voice has a mellow, folk quality that is very listenable.  The songs are accompanied by various instruments and represent a variety of music styles that each match the theme of the poem on which they are based. This book and CD are a great choice for a parent and child to share together on a quiet afternoon.

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