This bedtime story, populated with a variety of toy-like animals, will strike a chord with readers accustomed to wearing out their caregivers. A lyrical, brief text flows with no false notes as the hours tick by on each spread: ""Tick-tock, it's one o'clock,/Who wants to go to the park with Will?""--a dog with floppy ears and beret, walking upright. The children are a duck, a hedgehog, an elephant, and a pig, all smaller than Will. They climb a tree and ""when Hedgehog falls, we've all had enough,"" so the sobbing creature can be consoled. There is a little picnic, drawn with effective details--Will holds one child while reaching to help another, a familiar pose for any parent, although Will is positioning a glass so the elephant's trunk can go inside. Back at home, the little ones are settled into an array of makeshift beds, and, as the hours slip toward midnight, they put Will through the paces until he falls asleep in his chair. Gentle humor and affection inform every page of this childlike story, where soft watercolor drawings are perfectly accomplished with a minimum of line. The book will sing to those who love Jill Murphy's A Quiet Night In (1994), and translates beautifully to uses in foster-care and group-home situations.
Pub Date: April 10, 1998
Page Count: 28
Publisher: "R&S--dist. by Farrar, Straus & Giroux"