A toddler’s resistance to bedtime is cleverly portrayed in this rhyming, repetitive plea.
A mother’s announcement prompts her precocious tot to offer alternatives while finding different hiding places. “It’s time for bed, sleepyhead. / No, no, take RED instead.” Hiding under a blanket on the couch is the nameless child sitting with Red, the family’s Irish setter. As the mother, a white woman dressed in pajamas, robe, and bunny slippers, continues to look for, find, and coax her little one to bed, the persistent child continues to hide and offer up anyone in his white family or anything that rhymes with bed: Seb, the baby; Fred, the cat; older brother, Jedd; Zed, a toy astronaut; Ned, the elderly white neighbor; and Ed, the goldfish. But with the presentation of Ted, his beloved teddy bear, the mother’s suggestion that Ted will be lonely stimulates some thinking and acquiescence. Bedtime for this youngster is recounted in a predictable pattern, with “It’s time for bed, sleepyhead” on the left page and a different name inserted in the consistent response on the right. Soft graphite-and-watercolor sketches supply indispensable, wordless information with visual clues for each hiding place. Beneath the curtain, as the mother pulls it aside, the child’s slippers lie on the floor in the left-hand image; on the right, from the outside view, the child can be seen crouching on the windowsill with Fred. Children will read the pictures and easily begin chiming in on the recurring text.
Engaging and attractive for young bedtime deniers. (Picture book. 3-5)