Even veggies get tired, it seems.
Illustrator OHora’s adorable anthropomorphic veggies star in this bedtime ramble. The illustrations, appropriately created with 100% vegetarian paper and acrylic paint, portray veggies in brilliant realistic colors with thick, black-line details that pop against a pale sky or textured brown earth. A pink-segmented worm guide with a rakish hat and one sock and sneaker winds its way through an urban rooftop community garden as day ends, visiting every veggie preparing for bed or “snoozing, / beneath the moon so bright, // for nothing’s more exhausting / than growing day and night.” In Murray’s playful rhyming text, “tuckered-out tomatoes” hum lullabies, cauliflowers cuddle, “beets are / simply beat,” and “celery is snoring / as sunset disappears.” With just two to nine words per page, the story makes for quick reading, but its steady rhythm, whimsical rhymes, abundant alliteration, and hand-lettered sleep-appropriate sounds to share like “zzzzz” and “snore! snore!” extend the read-aloud experience. The illustrations are equally charming, smiling faces on most of the vegetables matching the worm’s grin. One rhubarb stalk improbably holds a book, reading aloud to some broccoli. The eggplants are revealed to have expansive dreams! Familiar garden creatures also hide in plain sight on most garden spreads. The human gardener, seen tangentially at the beginning of the story, has brown skin.
A bedtime veggie feast for the eyes and ears. (Picture book. 3-6)