Linda Zuckerman worked as a children's book editor for more than
thirty-five years, and edited three Caldecott Medal books and two
Newbery Honors. I Will Hold You 'Til You Sleep is her first work as
an author. Ms. Zuckerman livs in Tigard, Oregon.
Jon J Muth has written and illustrated many enchanting picture books, including his Caldecott Honor Book ZEN SHORTS and its sequel, the NEW YORK TIMES bestselling picture book ZEN TIES. Other beloved titles from Jon include THE THREE QUESTIONS, GERSHON'S MONSTER by Eric Kimmel, and THE CHRISTMAS MAGIC by Lauren Thompson. Muth lives in upstate New York with his wife and five children.
The very model of an instantly beloved bedtime story, destined to replace any number of lesser,
though popular efforts. In lambent cadence, the text takes the form of a lullaby, with gently repeated
phrases: "I will hold you 'til you sleep / Safe and warm within my arms / Dream of springtime's gentle
breezes / While my lullaby surrounds you / Dearest baby, child of mine / I will hold you 'til you sleep."
Muth's exquisite watercolor and gouache images take the tale from spring to autumn, winter and
spring again, as a small boy grows and his parents age. In one example, "I will kiss you when you fall"
depicts first the mother comforting the boy when he's fallen from his bike, and then the same phrase
shows the father consoling a teenage boy while in the distance a girl is running off hand-in-hand with
another guy. The lovely reassurance of, "I will love you all your life," is echoed visually, as the boy,
holding a cell phone in a European church square, faces a page where the graying parents are smiling
into their phone. It closes with rainbows, grandchildren and the suggestion to carry the love forward.
This isn't cheap sentimentality, but deep feeling and lovely art perfectly in tune. (Picture book. 4-9)
The power and meaning of love is found in the simple, heartfelt promises that parents make to their children. That's the premise of this somewhat sentimental but visually impressive book. Using debut author Zuckerman's rather familiar lines as a jumping-off point ("I will hold you 'til you sleep/ Safe and warm within my arms/ Dreams of springtime's gentle breezes/ While my lullaby surrounds you"), Muth (Zen Shorts) imagines a journey of life's milestone moments, from birth to adulthood. A verse that begins, "I will kiss you when you fall," for instance, movingly covers a wide span of years that includes both a tumble the boy hero takes from his bike when he's a grade-schooler and also his first heartb