Bedtime rituals comfort and reassure a mom and her little one.
Only the mother’s voice is heard, as she directs the action. She plays a recognition game first, asking her toddler to tweak ears, push nose, flap arms, clap hands and more. Movement and exercise are added along with some tickling and stroking. A pet dog mimics the actions with a toy rabbit partner, playing along with the humans. Of course, it concludes with hugs and kisses all around. As they snuggle, it is apparent that the little one is worn out and ready to sleep. Gerber employs simple, sprightly language that bounces along with enthusiasm and joie de vivre. It matters not that the lines don’t always scan, as the rhymes are totally child-friendly. Pearson’s light and bright illustrations provide a sense of softness and warmth. Polka-dot sheets, starred pajamas, tufted bedcovers, Mom’s printed dress and Bunny’s striped shirt all blend together beautifully. The focus is completely on the child, with mother shown only in partial view. The child’s body movements answer Mom’s directions, and facial expressions show joy and delight at the whole routine. Even the endpapers add to the fun, as the startled bunny flies head over heels among the polka dots.
A charming bedtime read-aloud. (Picture book. 1-4)