By LIZ DURKEE
NIGHTTIDE ON A VINEYARD FARM. Lyric by Patty Schaal, Illustrations by Margot Datz. Vineyard Stories, Edgartown, 2010. $21.95, hardcover.
Sadly, I am no longer a child. Far from it. I may act like one at inappropriate times, but that’s a skill that probably hinders rather than helps write a children’s book review.
But I’ll have at it. Reviewing other people’s artistic creations is far easier than creating one’s own.
The book at heart is Nighttide on a Vineyard Farm, with lyrics by Patty Schaal and illustrations by Margo Datz.
It is a short, sweet, collaboration, a “magical look at a spring night” in a coastal farm setting. A barnyard Goodnight Moon of sorts, with a pleasant, low-key lyrical narrative that is brought to bright, child-friendly life through Ms. Datz’s signature eye-popping illustrations.
Lyricist Patty Schaal is a long-time summer resident of the Vineyard. This is her first book, and she cites the Island as an inspiration for much of her lyric passion.
Ms. Datz is known locally for her imaginative mural paintings that light up what would otherwise be lonely spaces, from the children’s room at the Oak Bluffs Public Library to the walls of the Vineyard Haven Steamship Authority terminal. She has also illustrated four children’s books for singer/writer Carly Simon.
Nighttide is a gentle, farm-friendly bedtime story and a visual delight. It opens with pinkletinks playing “from star to star.” Who doesn’t love a chorus of pinkletinks? Or a starry night “as tides dance with the moon”? Sleep well, young children. Enjoy it while you can.