Because putting a toddler to bed isn’t just an art—it’s fine art.



From the Peek-a-Boo Art series

Art, poetry, and peekaboo are a winning combination in this bedtime board-book diversion.

Authors Appel and Guglielmo present six great works of art accompanied by rhymed text that sounds like Goodnight Moon outtakes, organized around themes of nighttime and sleep. The titular Starry Night in question, for example, is Vincent van Gogh’s famous explosion of luminescent yellows against a field of swirling blues and black: “Goodnight glowing moon up high… / Goodnight stars. Goodnight sky.” Subsequent rhymes and artwork are presented in four-page increments—one line of verse against a constellation-filled background facing a solid field of color with a die-cut hole and an inviting “Peek-a-boo, baby,” for example, or “Peek-a-boo, moon!” Turning the page reveals the second half of the rhyme on verso and, on recto, the full painting previewed in the peekaboo frame a page earlier. Other featured works are Berthe Morisot’s The Cradle, Henri Rousseau’s The Sleeping Gypsy, Franz Marc’s The White Cat, Diego Rivera’s Delfina and Dimas, and van Gogh’s The Bedroom. The peekaboo pages break the flow of the rhyme scheme a bit, and one could argue the relative merits of less peekaboo and more artwork, but children will no doubt enjoy the game of preview-and-reveal. Less sophisticated and ambitious than Shana Gozansky’s My Art Book of Sleep (2019) but well worthwhile.

Because putting a toddler to bed isn’t just an art—it’s fine art. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 15, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-32498-3

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 10, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

The joys of counting combine with pretty art and homage to Goodnight Moon.


This bedtime book offers simple rhymes, celebrates the numbers one through 10, and encourages the counting of objects.

Each double-page spread shows a different toddler-and-caregiver pair, with careful attention to different skin tones, hair types, genders, and eye shapes. The pastel palette and soft, rounded contours of people and things add to the sleepy litany of the poems, beginning with “Goodnight, one fork. / Goodnight, one spoon. / Goodnight, one bowl. / I’ll see you soon.” With each number comes a different part in a toddler’s evening routine, including dinner, putting away toys, bathtime, and a bedtime story. The white backgrounds of the pages help to emphasize the bold representations of the numbers in both written and numerical forms. Each spread gives multiple opportunities to practice counting to its particular number; for example, the page for “four” includes four bottles of shampoo and four inlaid dots on a stool—beyond the four objects mentioned in the accompanying rhyme. Each home’s décor, and the array and types of toys and accoutrements within, shows a decidedly upscale, Western milieu. This seems compatible with the patronizing author’s note to adults, which accuses “the media” of indoctrinating children with fear of math “in our country.” Regardless, this sweet treatment of numbers and counting may be good prophylaxis against math phobia.

The joys of counting combine with pretty art and homage to Goodnight Moon. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-101-93378-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Out of all the titles in the series, Goldilocks’ adventures are the most cogent and age-appropriate.


From the Les Petit Fairytales series

The flaxen-haired tyke makes her infamous visit to the bears’ house in this simplified adaptation.

The classic story is told with minimal text, one or two words per double-page spread. Goldilocks uses speech bubbles to describe the porridge, chairs and beds (“Too hot. / Too cold. / Just right”). The bears look bemused when they find the girl snoozing in Baby Bear’s bed, and they offer an amicable and winsome goodbye when she dashes off. The richly colored cartoons, likely created with the aid of a computer, present friendly-looking characters with oversize heads. The companion release is a stripped-down version of “Little Red Riding Hood” following the same format and style, right down to the sparkly heroine’s outfit and glittery letters employed on the cover. Youngsters unfamiliar with the story may need adult help to understand that the friendly, cross-dressing wolf has actually swallowed Grandma, since all the readers see is a “Woodsman” examining the wolf’s teeth and then sending the predator away in shame.

Out of all the titles in the series, Goldilocks’ adventures are the most cogent and age-appropriate. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Feb. 25, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-8050-9912-6

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet