Master staller Fred meets his match (poetry!) in this hilarious not-yet-ready-for-bed tale.
Fred greets readers on the title page, utterly benign in appearance as he bathes and brushes teeth, seemingly earnest about the bedtime routine. But these innocuous scenes are a perfect juxtaposition for what’s in store, for this egg-shaped boy upends the rhyming animal lullaby with a creative exuberance sure to leave readers in stitches. Schneider’s deadpan delivery, combined with his ability to populate a world of realistically rendered animals in fanciful settings or situations, is a comedic win. Fred’s journey from home across spreads that become more and more fantastical as they incorporate elements from previous scenes is reminiscent of “Little Nemo in Slumberland.” Ultimately, a book of poetry lulls Fred to sleep, as the narrator implores readers not to “make a peep.” An additional “WARNING” at the end to not wake Fred lest he start up again cleverly begs the opposite—promoting repeat visits, during which readers will surely find more silliness in store.
Ingenious. (Picture book. 3-7)