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by Erik X. Raj & illustrated by Erik X. Raj

Age Range: 4 - 9

Pub Date: Aug. 9th, 2012
Publisher: Erik X. Raj

In this all-too-predictable story of scary noises in the night, a young boy’s imagination pushes him toward bravery...and a midnight snack.

Myriad books exist to comfort children into a fear-free bedtime. This latest enters the fray with a story of a little brother awakened in his top bunk by things that go grumble in the night. Charmingly illustrated in a retro, ’60s-animation style and easy to navigate, the story is entertaining enough, if the other, better options have all been exhausted or if one of your children has (see title) digestive issues. Otherwise, the clunky story is saddled with less-than-interesting narration, music and sound effects. The stars twinkle with a bell sound, but so does little brother’s trembling, and the grumble effect itself is too one-dimensional to convincingly spawn the young boy’s terrified imaginings. (Besides, given that the two children have been sharing a bedroom for some time, surely this isn’t the first time little brother has noticed older brother’s stomach noises?)

Of all the literary explanations for all the terrible noises of the night, this one needs a bit more than the plate of cookies at the end to make it worth the read. Unless, of course, it’s still a free download. (iPad storybook app. 4-9)