Schaefer and Morgan have again paired up (Kids Like Us, 2008, etc.), this time bringing readers an emotionally expressive and linguistically playful book about nighttime fears.
BunBun is an exuberant young rabbit who has no problem going to bed. But once he’s there, he hears noises down the hallway. With Boo, his bear, he is initially able to brush aside his fears, but as the noises get closer, he dives under the covers. His overactive imagination envisions the nasty creatures that must be creeping toward him. It might be a “Crusty Dumply Ogre, / with gnarly curly toes,” or it could be a “Grimy Gooey Ghoulie / with a snuffly droozly nose.” BunBun’s reactions mirror those of a small child—hiding under the covers, freezing in fear with heart beating madly. And the noise? Just his little brother come to check out the noises he heard. Courage restored, BunBun is able to act the part of protective big brother. Schaefer masterfully plays with language both in lines that often rhyme and in invented words that could feasibly have come straight from a young child’s imagination. And Morgan’s ink-and-gouache artwork perfectly captures this. Her portrayal of BunBun’s imaginary monsters are just silly enough not to spark fears in readers.
Make room for this one—with its spot-on characterization, humorous details and wordplay, this stands out even among the crowd of similar books. (Picture book. 3-5)