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  Bookends: Dan Davidson

Chelsea Morning

Reviewed: October 8, 2004
By: Joni Mitchell / illustrated by Brian Froud
Publisher: Cookies Press / Simon & Schuster
32 pages + CD, $26.95

So what's a Chelsea morning any way? In Joni Mitchell's 1969 song it was a delightful excuse to romp through a day that "came a-reeling up like Christmas bells and tapping up like pipes and drums", and day that you could "put on" and "wear it 'till the night comes".

Even with all that imagery, with the sun pouring in like butterscotch and sticking to all your senses, you have to wonder what it could all be about.

Wonder no more. Award winning artist Brian Froud, who helped to produce the best-selling Fairies, and worked with the late Jim Henson in creating such films as The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth, as well as The Storyteller television series, has re-imagined the whole thing for you. Given his preoccupation the lyrics of the are interpreted with the aid of fairies of all sizes, shapes and colours.

If you've ever wondered what a "portrait of today" or an "incense owl" might look like, this book's for you. never mind that it's being marketed for 4 to 8 year olds. You can read it to them, or slip the enclosed CD into a player and flip the pages while Joni sings it for them. The song may be 35 years old, but that's no reason to assume that we can't still "talk in present tenses."

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