LEX Copyright Iroda / LEX Copyright Office

by Judith L. Roth and illustrated
by Kendra Binney

VENETIAN LULLABY by Judith L. Roth and illustrated by Kendra Binney

In a new and different approach to the popular bedtime story, a soothing lullaby carries baby on a gondola ride past fantastic sights and sounds of Venice.

The sounds of lapping water and dipping oars ease readers into the famous canals of Venice, Italy. With mother as gondolier and father singing his calming song to baby, a family floats serenely through this one-of-a-kind historic city, past features as unusual as stone winged lions and golden masks and as comfortably familiar as babbling neighbors and drying laundry. The baby drifts deeper and deeper into Venice’s maze and—finally—sweet sleep.

Children cuddling on parents’ laps anywhere in the world will be blissfully transported to wondrous Venice before nap- or bedtime by this dreamy lullaby and its peaceful pastel illustrations.

Judith L. Roth is an author and freelance writer who loves travel, chocolate, and being near water. She has bachelor’s degrees in both English and music, the latter of which helps her write more poetically. She has always dreamed of writing fiction for children. She lives in Elkhart, Indiana with her husband and three cats.

Kendra Binney is a self-taught artist and illustrator who paints her landscapes and characters with pastel washes and resin coatings to create memorable, fragile realities. Her inspiration comes largely from her upbringing wandering barefoot in a small mountain town. She now lives and works around Portland, Oregon.

Praise for Venetian Lullaby:

“The lovely lull of the moving gondola and sensory rhyme will soothe both readers and listeners.” —Kirkus

“Adults and young ones will also appreciate the rocking rhythm throughout, not to mention the reassuring depiction of family love.” —Booklist

School Library Journal starred review:

Enchanted watercolor clouds of winged lions, seahorses, and dragonflies float over the watery canals of Venice, blending with the voices of two parents singing their baby to sleep. Mother, a pale-skinned gondolier, navigates her family through the watery passages of Venice, as a brown-skinned father tenderly cradles and sings his baby a lullaby inspired by the sights and sounds of their surroundings. The rhythmic lullaby, like the lapping of the water beneath the gondola, carries the family past the bell tower and domes of St. Mark’s Basilica and everyday life in Venice. Colorful curtains from open windows and laundry hung to dry dance in the wind. Racially diverse crowds of people mingle outside cafes and greet each other as they pass over bridges. Roth’s love song for Venice magically blends with Binney’s stunning acrylic, watercolor, and digital illustrations to bring this dreamy lullaby to life. The eyes of young and older readers alike will linger over each illustration, absorbing the magic of the dreamscape. Though the mother is ever present, the father’s gentle love for his child is the focal point of this spellbinding story.

VERDICT An exquisite and essential purchase for public libraries; a pitch-perfect bedtime story, this is sure to conjure beautiful dreams.