A young woodland child is on the hunt for a bedtime story in Grant and Campbell’s debut collaboration.
“They say there’s a girl / Who lives by the woods / In a crooked old house / With no garden but gloom.” So begins the tale of the small, pale-skinned, nymphlike girl named Wee Sister Strange who wanders the woods at night. She calls to owls, rides on the back of a bear, climbs to the tops of the trees, and dives to the bottom of a bog. But it is not until she comes to “a snug little house / With one window aglow” that Wee Sister Strange finds what she has been searching for—a bedtime story. Inside the house, tucked into bed, is another young child with dark hair and brown skin, whose mother is reading a familiar-looking picture book as the text proclaims, “And there’s you in your bed / With this book ’neath your nose!” Campbell’s illustrations give Sister’s nighttime world shape and depth with emphatic splashes of light, while Grant’s deployment of verse draws readers further and further in until, with a quiet metafictive twist, they find themselves reflected in both text and illustrations, gracefully aligned with the sleepy young reader of color in the book.
An enchanting bedtime tale to be read over and over again. (Picture book. 3-7)