Suspend all disbelief and enjoy.

BEDTIME IS CANCELED

A bedtime prank goes viral, resulting in giggle-inspiring consequences.

Maggie and her brother write a note to their parents announcing the cancellation of bedtime. Of course their parents don’t believe it and throw the note in the trash. The note flies out the window, lands on a reporter’s desk, becoming headline news in print and on television and in endlessly forwarded emails. Now bedtime really is canceled, and chaos ensues. The children stay up all night playing, snacking and watching TV, with this scenario repeated all over town. Morning brings exhausted adults who can’t function, though children seem remarkably unaffected. The next note takes pity and, to every parent’s delight, revokes the disastrous change and reinstates the natural order of things. All these notes work so well that Maggie and her brother try a new message….Meng playfully expands and exaggerates children’s efforts to put off the inevitable lights-out and turns a universal tug of war into a hilarious tour de force, with the children decidedly in charge and loving it. Neyret’s digital illustrations have a mangalike sensibility, depicting very modern settings with wide-eyed, expressive characters, joyfully enhancing the goofy proceedings and adding a few sly touches of her own.

Suspend all disbelief and enjoy. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 6, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-547-63668-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Clarion Books

Review Posted Online: Sept. 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2012

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Ready to fight boredom in a single bound, at least for a few minutes.

SUPERHERO DAD

A small blond boy describes the many ways his nebbishy dad is a superhero.

From super snoring to super breakfasts (“toast with chocolate, and fruit, ice cream, and cake!”), this dad makes everything fun, playing dinosaurs, lifting and carrying his son, and building him an amazing (but rickety) wooden castle (not without a thumb injury, though, but he meant to do that!). These things might not seem like superhero deeds to most readers, and the narrator sees that question coming. He explains about the noises he hears at night in his room and how his dad comes in to rescue him with the flick of a light switch and his presence. “ ‘Superhero Dad,’ I say, / ‘you are the best by miles!’ / My dad says, / ‘I’m no Superhero,’ / then he stops and smiles. / ‘But I know a Superhero / who is brave and kind and fun. Who is it? // Why, it’s you! You are my SUPERHERO SON!’ ” It’s a sweet concept, but the execution is a little off. Knapman’s rhythm sometimes stumbles in his rhyming verses. Berger’s digital illustrations are filled with the bright colors that scream comics, though there aren’t as many sound effect balloons as one might expect from a superhero story. Both characters are white.

Ready to fight boredom in a single bound, at least for a few minutes. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 26, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-7636-8657-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: March 16, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2016

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Good fun for all little ninjas and their parents.

NAUGHTY NINJA TAKES A BATH

After swinging out from the jungle after a long day of ninja-ing, Will makes his way home just in time for a bath. But as all ninjas know, danger lurks around every corner.

Even naughty ninjas get hungry, but Dad says, “Pee-yew,” and insists his little ninja get clean before going near a morsel. Ever the Naughty Ninja, Will follows his dad into the bathroom and immediately spies danger: Poisonous flies that have followed him from the jungle! As any parent would, his dad begs him not to say, “Ninja to the rescue,” because we all know what comes after a catchphrase…chaos! Through each increasingly rough rescue, Dad finds himself more and more defeated in his quest to complete bathtime, but ultimately he starts to find the infectious joy that only the ridiculousness of children can bring out in an adult. The art is bright and finds some nifty ninja perspectives that use the space well. It also places an interracial family at its center: Dad has brown skin and dark, puffy hair, and Mom is a white redhead; when out of his ninja cowl, Will looks like a slightly lighter-skinned version of his father. Kids will laugh at everything the dad is put through, and parents will knowingly nod, because we have all had nights with little ninjas soaking the bathroom floor. The book starts out a little text heavy but finds its groove quickly, reading smoothly going forward. Lots of action means it’s best not to save this one for bedtime.

Good fun for all little ninjas and their parents. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5420-9433-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Two Lions

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2019

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