In this French import, a cherubic cartoon baby peeks through the die-cut hole at the center of the book to don various personae through the page turns.
On the first spread, readers meet a baby wearing footie pajamas decorated with pink hearts. On subsequent pages, the little one's smiling face is seen as a heart, a fox and a dove, among others. The text invites grown-ups to bid their youngsters good night using endearments appropriate to the scene. A few of the richly colored, probably digitally created images are quite clever; as one page states "Good night, my pearl," the baby's round face appears as one bead on a necklace strand. A smattering of the other endearments and their cartoon depictions may have lost something in translation. English-speaking parents might find calling their child a "shrimp" slightly derogatory, and the appellation "sunshine" seems odd for a bedtime story. The pictures of a black fox, two amorphous brown "dumplings" and a cloud-shaped "sheep" with no neck or head may confuse young children. The companion title, Spoonful!, also incorporates a die cut through almost every page and invites children to feed various animals, family members and characters. In profile this time, the cartoon face that appears through the hole sports a gaping mouth, a bulbous nose and a tuft of black hair. While an inventive idea, the shape of the hole does not allow the child truly to spoon "feed" each character, and some of the transformations via the page turn are strange. Both titles have thinner-than-normal board pages and may not hold up to all the interaction they invite.
An imaginative concept that falls down in execution. (Board book. 6 mos.-2)