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IT’S BEDTIME! by Brigitte Weninger


by Brigitte Weninger & illustrated by Alan Marks

Age Range: 5 - 8

Pub Date: May 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-7358-1602-6
Publisher: NorthSouth

A small boy selects an unlikely bedmate in this quirky tale from the author of the popular Davy Rabbit series (Happy Birthday, Davy!, 2000, etc.). As young Ben reluctantly trudges off to bed, his mother attempts to cheer him up by suggesting various stuffed companions with which he can sleep. Weninger’s wry humor surfaces in the ensuing dialogue between mother and son. Ben’s mother eagerly offers the softest, sweetest stuffed animals; yet a cozy teddy bear, a faithful stuffed pup, and a comical clown don’t make the grade. When Ben ultimately makes his selection—a fearsomely constructed stuffed toy—his mother is appalled. However, Ben’s response is keenly astute: “I know . . . He is very terrible and strong and mean. And that’s why I want him.” Weninger’s tale reveals that stout pragmatism of young children, which often leaves adults mystified. Readers will appreciate Ben’s reasoning: after all, what better to chase away the night frights than a creature that’s scarier than a young child’s rampant imaginings. Marks’s full-page watercolors are marvelously expressive. From Ben’s forlorn face to the hopeful stances of the rejected toys, his imaginative paintings draw readers into Ben’s world. One note of caution: the illustrations of Ben’s toy of choice elevates this tale from preschool appropriateness to young grade-schoolers; while little ones may take fright at the fierce ghoulishness of the toy, older, savvier ones will appreciate it’s macabre effectiveness. (Picture book. 5-8)