10 MINUTES TILL BEDTIME

Rathmann (Officer Buckle and Gloria, 1995, etc.) offers a loony look at the shank of one child’s evening in this manic picture book. The story is in the pictures; the text consists of the calling out of the countdown of the last ten minutes to bedtime by a boy’s father, comfortably ensconced in his armchair and behind a newspaper. In the newspaper and on a computer screen, though, readers glimpse an ad for www.hamstertours.com. The boy’s hamster has apparently offered the ten-minute bedtime tour to every hamster in the world, and while the boy snacks, brushes his teeth, and reads a story (this very book, as it happens), more and more hamsters arrive, in toy cars and oatmeal-box trucks and on foot. By the time it is “2 minutes to bedtime,” our hero either realizes he’s forgotten his bath or decides to give the multitudinous hamsters more of a show, so he leaps into the tub and out, dries himself, uses the potty, gets back into his green-striped pajamas, and into bed shouting an answering “Bedtime!” to his father’s cry. The hamsters melt away and the father comes in for a goodnight kiss. The colors are clear and cheerful; the boy, with his saucer eyes and fuzzy slippers, will enchant any child who has listened to a similar countdown to lights out. (Picture book. 2-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-399-23103-X

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1998

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JAZZ BABY

A snappy rhyming text celebrates an extended family’s joyous gyrations to the jazz spinning on the turntable. From waking to sleep, Baby’s right in the thick of it, as siblings, grandparents and cousins move and groove: “So they BOOM-BOOM-BOOM / and they HIP-HIP-HOP / and the bouncin’ baby boogies with a BOP-BOP-BOP.” Wheeler’s verse scans beautifully and begs to be read aloud—danced to, even—making this a fine choice for preschool and kindergarten story times. Christie’s bold, double-paged gouache compositions locate this colorfully garbed, expressively hip family within an equally vibrant community. As Baby’s big dark eyes get glassy with fatigue, the party winds down. “Daddy sings blues. / Mama sings sweet. / While that snoozy-woozy baby . . . / . . . sleeps deep, deep, deep.” Exultant and infectious, from the red-and-yellow-striped endpapers to the final “OH YEAH!” (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-15-202522-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2007

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BRONTORINA

Brontorina is a rotund, orange Apatosaurus who dreams of being a ballerina, so she presents herself at Madame Lucille’s Dance Academy: “[I]n my heart I am a ballerina.” Despite Brontorina’s size and lack of ballet shoes, Madame Lucille decides to teach her along with the other, human students. As practice begins, Madame’s main directive to Brontorina is, “Please try not to squash the other dancers.” Here’s where Cecil's spare oil artwork illuminates, in creamy hues, the relatively diminutive children dancing with the enormous Brontorina as she pliés and twirls, wreaking havoc. It soon becomes evident that lessons at the studio are, at the very least, difficult. Brontorina, spilling giant tears, resigns herself to leaving. But there is a big surprise in store, and Madame Lucille gets a fresh perspective. The frankly funny illustrations complement Howe’s understated text, resulting in a sweet, frothy story, complete with tutus and arabesques, for the little (and big) dreamer in everyone, lightheartedly demonstrating that the sky’s the limit, so think big! (Picture book. 2-7)

 

 

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-7636-4437-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: June 14, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2010

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