This deliciously clever bedtime story offers bouncy rhymes with rich vocabulary, a cast of appealing parent-child pairs and a satisfying ending as Santa takes off with his sleigh and his traditional “to all a good night!”
Using the same structure as his Halloween Good Night (2010), Cushman presents eight characters bidding their mothers or fathers “good night” in their own fashion, including snowmen, polar bears, gingerbread people and reindeer. The story begins with a child under a quilt in her room, with several toys and treats foreshadowing their appearance later in the story. By the final pages, it becomes clear that this child is actually one of Santa’s elves, and she is just falling asleep as Santa and the reindeer fly away, glimpsed against a full moon through her bedroom window. The rhyming text with the corresponding “good night” phrases encourages participation from young listeners, who will demand repeated readings of this beguiling story. Cushman’s watercolor-and-ink illustrations are full of witty details and hints about the conclusion, but it is his dramatic pacing and skilled balance between art and text that make this Christmas offering sparkle.
This one has it all: engaging illustrations, a simple but satisfying plot and a text that adults won’t mind reading over and over. (Picture book. 3-6)