words and pictures by Uri Shulevitz/ published 1974 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
On the surface, nothing much happens in this story except the sun rising. But the minimal text and stripped down illustrations express a ton without really saying much of anything. Reading this one is like taking a warm bath or smelling a flower. Calm and simple ~ totally soul filling. Almost like a whispered secret, replete with a shocking and rich punch line.
It is cold and damp.
Under a tree by the lake
an old man and his grandson
curl up in blankets.
The moon lights a rock, a branch, an occasional leaf.
The mountain stands guard, dark and silent.
The colors are spectacular ~ deep blues and greens exploding into yellow and gold by the end. I almost wish I were a grandfather, so I could pass the sentiment down to my grandson. (Plus I'm a sucker for books with one word titles, but, hey.) Though Dawn is the companion volume to Rain Rain Rivers, Mr. Shulevitz is most famous for the 1969 Caldecott Medal winner The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship.
My boy digs the way the story unfolds (I was gonna say like a flower blooming or a baby chick cracking from its shell, but I didn't wanna pour the syrup on too strong), so I'm off in search of this dude's other books. If nothing else, Dawn is worthy of more than a few checkouts from the library.
One Monday Morning