A special collection of lullabies and read-aloud verse for children; When Dark Comes Dancing: A Bedtime Poetry Book, compiled by Nancy Larrick, illustrated by John Waller. Philomel Books, New York. 79 pp. $15.95.

To help their children drift off to sleep feeling calm and secure, parents can choose from 45 lullabies and read-aloud verses compiled by the noted author and educator Nancy Larrick.

This special collection features verses filled with reassuring nighttime images to help erase bedtime fears.

Selections by such favorites as Robert Louis Stevenson and Christina Rossetti are included among the poems about the moon and stars, sounds in the night, and animals snuggling into barns and burrows after sundown.

The book also offers a pleasing set of traditional and contemporary lullabies from Africa, Canada, England, South Carolina, and Kentucky.

The dreamlike montages illustrating the poems are finely rendered in both color and black and white. Intricate yet serene, they add to the peaceful mood of this quiet, comforting book.

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