Lightning may not strike twice in the same place, but Long comes close with this companion to Hi! (2015).
Long imagines the sounds 14 different animals might make when being tucked in for the night. In his signature cartoon style, he exaggerates what makes each animal distinct, whether it is the pig’s snout or the monkey's large ears. Each pair's large, round eyes are focused only on each other. Although most of the animals are familiar picture-book residents, some are surprising choices— a ticklish hyena, a humming bee (which, oddly, lives in a wasp’s nest). Only a dog and cat are repeats from Hi! This time the words don't rhyme. Instead the sound each infant makes is repeated, then the grown-ups' sounds, slightly different, are likewise repeated. For example, the chick says, “Cheep cheep.” The mother hen replies, “Cluck cluck.” The words from the adult animals are usually a bit on the forceful side, as if they are gently saying, “Good night, go to sleep NOW.” The lion is the exception—the lion cub says “Roar, roar,” while the father lion purrs. Adults and new talkers will enjoy playing with the onomatopoeia and identifying the animals.
Though the book ends with the firm instruction to “sleep tight,” its playful interactivity is rousing rather than soporific; best not to save it for just before bedtime. (Board book. 6 mos.-2)