Before Morning (Hardcover)

By Joyce Sidman, Beth Krommes (Illustrator)

HMH Books for Young Readers, 9780547979175, 48pp.

Publication Date: October 4, 2016

List Price: 17.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.


There are planes to fly and buses to catch, but a child uses the power of words, in the form of an invocation, to persuade fate to bring her family a snow day — a day slow and unhurried enough to spend at home together.

     In a spare text that reads as pure song and illustrations of astonishingly beautiful scratchboard art, Sidman and Krommes remind us that sometimes, if spoken from the heart, wishes really can come true.


Praise For Before Morning

Amazon Best Children’s Books of the Year Ages 3 to 5
Booklist Editors' Choice 2016
Horn Book Fanfare
Kirkus, Best Picture Book
Nerdy Book Club Nerdies 2016 Poetry/Novels in Verse
New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice
Publishers Weekly, Picture Book List
San Francisco Chronicle Best of 2016
School Library Journal Best of 2016
School Library Journal’s Fuse#8 Best of 2016

"This is a comforting and deeply satisfying book to read with a child and a celebration of a bit of magic that winter can offer: a gift of time."
The Washington Post

“A delightful winter read if there ever was one.”
Minneapolis Star Tribune

"It’s a sweet, but never saccharine, tale of family—and so cozy in every possible way that readers will want to return to it again and again. Pair it with your best hot cocoa recipe. Read. Repeat."

* "This simply perfect book is a must-have piece of portable poetry and art for all collections."
—School Library Journal, STARRED review

* "[Before Morning's] parallel but separate threads—the innocent images of the poem, the cheery reassurance of the illustrations, and the tension of the family’s wait—give this collaboration significant emotional depth."
—Publishers Weekly, STARRED review

* "It is rare in picture books to find words and art so perfectly matched, though perhaps not surprising given the talents of Newbery Honor–winning Sidman and Caldecott winner Krommes. Each phrase in Sidman’s spare text evokes the heart and the senses while Krommes’ scratchboard art is so intricately rendered, so full of story, that each page could be investigated dozens of times."
—Booklist, STARRED review

* "Like a snow day, a special treat with broad appeal."
—Kirkus, STARRED review

* "Throughout, Krommes’s illustrations do the narrative work, and a series of wordless spreads at book’s end provides a sweet balance to the front matter’s opening scenes, slowly easing the reader out of this mesmerizing book."
—Horn Book, STARRED review