A gentle and playful bedtime voyage.

GOOD NIGHT, GOOD NIGHT

THE ORIGINAL LONGER VERSION OF THE GOING TO BED BOOK

A motley crew of Boynton critters get ready for bed aboard a boat in this picture book based on the beloved The Going to Bed Book, first published as a board book in 1982.

“The sun has set not long ago. // Now everybody goes below // to take a bath / in one big tub / with soap all over— / SCRUB SCRUB SCRUB!” In gently rhyming verse that generations of readers have committed to memory already, a hippo, a dog, a couple of rabbits, a pig, a moose, an elephant, and more take a bath, put on pajamas, and brush their teeth. Playfully (but slightly inexplicably right before bedtime), they head to the deck to exercise. The pacing has been stretched out so that scenes that once occupied one page now stretch out over double-page spreads. The main addition to the original book’s text is an interpolated scene in which the animals pile into bed and two rabbits sing a lullaby. Complete with lyrics and notation, the song is about many of the critters wallowing in the mud with the hippos. The bedtime routine ends with the menagerie being rocked to sleep in the arklike boat. Fans of The Going to Bed Book will note that very little is actually new, but it is a joy to see Boynton’s colorful characters and playful verse in a larger trim size. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A gentle and playful bedtime voyage. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 7, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5344-9974-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2021

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An adventurous treat of a bedtime story.

BEDTIME FOR SWEET CREATURES

A patient mother with a healthy sense of whimsy helps prepare her headstrong toddler for bed.

The story opens with a toddler, fists raised into the air, proclaiming, “No! No! No!” Thank goodness this not-at-the-moment-sweet creature’s mother is patient and creative as she corrals her child into a bedtime routine that may feel familiar to many readers. The words and behaviors of the child evading bed are translated into animal sounds and behaviors: wide-eyed and asking “Who? Who?” like an owl; shaking hair and roaring like a lion; hanging on for a hug like a koala. And, of course, the requisite leaving bed for a last trip to the bathroom and drink, like a human child. Zunon’s art takes this book to the next level: Her portrayals of the animals mentioned in the text are colorful and full of intriguing patterns and shapes. Additionally, the expressions on the faces of the mother, child, and animals speak volumes, portraying the emotions of each. Arguably, the sweetest part of the story comes at the end, when the child asks to sleep with Mommy and Dad. Though the mother sighs, the child climbs in, along with “owl, bear, snake, kitty, fawn, squirrel, koala, tiger, wolf.” (Readers attuned to details will notice the father’s look of delight at the parade of animals.) All characters are Black.

An adventurous treat of a bedtime story. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Jan. 14, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4926-3832-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2019

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The soft cadence of the rhyming verses and the joyous pictures of the elephants will make this a bedtime favorite

THIS IS OUR BABY, BORN TODAY

When a baby elephant is born, “wrinkled and gray,” not just the herd, but the whole world rejoices, from morning to night.

From the proud Mama to the grand Aunts, from the “fertile and firm” Earth to the ancient Banyan tree, everyone and everything around the new baby elephant joins in celebration and care for the Baby “who warms the hearts of the world today.” Glowing with warm golds and greens and shadowed with deep blues and greens, the gorgeous artwork lushly illuminates the day of an elephant’s birth as it is cared for by its family and surroundings. The expressions on the elephant faces are sheer joy to behold; the elephant smiles are realistic and yet radiate affection. Seemingly simple, this gentle rhyming story works on two levels: the playfulness of the young elephant and its friends ensure that young children will be able to see themselves in the story, and given the depiction of the natural scenes, at least some young readers will become fascinated with the lives of elephants as well. An author’s note at the end provides background from the Indian-American author’s own life and also draws attention to the present-day need to protect elephants from poaching and the loss of habitat.

The soft cadence of the rhyming verses and the joyous pictures of the elephants will make this a bedtime favorite . (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Aug. 2, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-399-16684-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

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