An ideal story for those who prefer softer edges to their bedtime shenanigans.

READ REVIEW

I'M NOT SLEEPY

A little owlet employs a big bag of tricks when Grandma tries to get him to settle down to sleep.

Grandma carries little Mo to the top of the tree when it's bedtime. She smoothes some leaves into a soft nest and lays Mo carefully in the middle. "Play with me?" Mo giggles. "No, Sweetie, it's time for bed," Grandma responds. She reads in pleasant silence for a while, until Mo calls out that he hasn't had his bedtime snack. With effort, Grandma flies down to get it (a cookie, disappointingly, not a vole) and bring it back up to Mo, who again asks to play. Grandma's answer is the same. Not even leaves falling from the nest onto her head or Mo's loud declaration that "It's an emergency!" changes her mind. But she does come up with a plan. She will go to sleep, and Mo, after putting her to bed, can play to his heart's content. Mo is delighted, but he finds that the effort of arranging a nest for Grandma and flying down to get her bedtime snack has made him...sleepy. At last, he settles into his makeshift nest, and Grandma has a chance to read her book in peace. Chapman's story is simple and hardly original but pitch-perfect. Her owls look soft and friendly, and her backgrounds use an appropriately warm palette that frames them nicely. 

An ideal story for those who prefer softer edges to their bedtime shenanigans. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-56148-765-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Good Books

Review Posted Online: July 25, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2012

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A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends.

GOOD NIGHT, LITTLE BLUE TRUCK

Is it a stormy-night scare or a bedtime book? Both!

Little Blue Truck and his good friend Toad are heading home when a storm lets loose. Before long, their familiar, now very nervous barnyard friends (Goat, Hen, Goose, Cow, Duck, and Pig) squeeze into the garage. Blue explains that “clouds bump and tumble in the sky, / but here inside we’re warm and dry, / and all the thirsty plants below / will get a drink to help them grow!” The friends begin to relax. “Duck said, loud as he could quack it, / ‘THUNDER’S JUST A NOISY RACKET!’ ” In the quiet after the storm, the barnyard friends are sleepy, but the garage is not their home. “ ‘Beep!’ said Blue. ‘Just hop inside. / All aboard for the bedtime ride!’ ” Young readers will settle down for their own bedtimes as Blue and Toad drop each friend at home and bid them a good night before returning to the garage and their own beds. “Blue gave one small sleepy ‘Beep.’ / Then Little Blue Truck fell fast asleep.” Joseph’s rich nighttime-blue illustrations (done “in the style of [series co-creator] Jill McElmurry”) highlight the power of the storm and capture the still serenity that follows. Little Blue Truck has been chugging along since 2008, but there seems to be plenty of gas left in the tank.

A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 22, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-328-85213-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: June 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it.

YOUR BABY'S FIRST WORD WILL BE DADA

A succession of animal dads do their best to teach their young to say “Dada” in this picture-book vehicle for Fallon.

A grumpy bull says, “DADA!”; his calf moos back. A sad-looking ram insists, “DADA!”; his lamb baas back. A duck, a bee, a dog, a rabbit, a cat, a mouse, a donkey, a pig, a frog, a rooster, and a horse all fail similarly, spread by spread. A final two-spread sequence finds all of the animals arrayed across the pages, dads on the verso and children on the recto. All the text prior to this point has been either iterations of “Dada” or animal sounds in dialogue bubbles; here, narrative text states, “Now everybody get in line, let’s say it together one more time….” Upon the turn of the page, the animal dads gaze round-eyed as their young across the gutter all cry, “DADA!” (except the duckling, who says, “quack”). Ordóñez's illustrations have a bland, digital look, compositions hardly varying with the characters, although the pastel-colored backgrounds change. The punch line fails from a design standpoint, as the sudden, single-bubble chorus of “DADA” appears to be emanating from background features rather than the baby animals’ mouths (only some of which, on close inspection, appear to be open). It also fails to be funny.

Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 9, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-250-00934-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

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