Photogenic Vincent is a baby who isn’t ready for bedtime, so he uses the pen-and-ink blackness of nighttime to create a fantasy world for himself and readers.
A photo-collaged image of Vincent, yawning, is surrounded by black-inked crib rails and faced by a delightful pen-and-ink drawing of a nursery window at night: black sky with stars and fanciful moon; wide sill decorated with assorted stuffed animals. The text will immediately elicit empathy from young readers: “One evening, Vincent decided he didn’t want to go to bed.” Although the “night [is] rolling in,” Vincent knows “he could use the night for something else.” He grabs a thin strand of ink-cum-nighttime, and readers are off on a wild, imaginative adventure. Most pairs of pages feature one photograph of the baby coupled with whimsical black-inked art. The results are funny and delightful, from Vincent “being very naughty” as he pulls the tail of a Sandra Boynton–esque cat to Vincent creating a frog pond to an encounter with an elephant composed of pleasing ink swirls. Once Vincent gets going, most of the text is a direct address to Vincent, as in “Sure, it can drink all that, but where on earth are you going to put the elephant?” A climactic gallery of Vincent-in-action portraits leads to the expected cozy ending.
Offbeat enough to add to an already-groaning collection of bedtime books. (Picture book. 1-6)