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Before Morning (Hardcover)

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Before Morning Cover Image
By Joyce Sidman, Beth Krommes (Illustrator)
Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days

Staff Reviews

Snow days in Santa Cruz are few and far between (okay, I’ve never experienced one). Yet even one day of snuggling back in under the covers because school is cancelled can be a treasure chest of nostalgia. This book captures that feeling and adds the longing of a young child for her mother to curl up next to her, just this once, staying home from work too. Caldecott Award–winner Beth Krommes’ distinctive wood-engraving illustrations create the magically charged atmosphere of the winter holidays. This is a gorgeous book, sure to enchant every age. Ages 4–7.

— Tera


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.


About the Author

The Newbery Honor winner and Sibert Medalist Joyce Sidman is today's foremost nature poet for children.  Accolades for her books include two Caldecott Honors, a Lee Bennet Hopkins Award, winner of the Claudia Lews Award, and many stars and best of lists.  For her award-winning body of work, she won the Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children. She lives in Wayzata, Minnesota. Visit

Beth Krommes is the Caldecott Winning illustrator of The House in the Night  and other beautifully illustrated, much-acclaimed picture books like Swirl by Swirl, and  Butterfly Eyes and Other Secrets of the Meadow. She lives in Peterborough, NH. Visit her online at

Praise For…

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

Product Details
ISBN: 9780547979175
ISBN-10: 0547979177
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: October 4th, 2016
Pages: 48
Language: English
ABA Admin Product Details
Data Source: ONIX
Created At: 12/14/2014 10:01pm
Last Updated At: 10/24/2020 10:34am