THE BEDTIME TRAIN by Joy Cowley

THE BEDTIME TRAIN

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 7

KIRKUS REVIEW

A tired little boy has trouble falling asleep so he calls the bedtime train—whose engineer looks remarkably like his father. The train, which contains the bed, the boy and his toy penguins, chugs through town and country and meets wolves, bears, alligators, dinosaurs and more. By pulling the handle of a gumball machine at the head of his bed, the boy can release items that help defuse scary situations. Although there’s more than a hint of homage to the whimsical fantasy of Maurice Sendak, Cowley doesn’t quite pull it off. The pallid verse is joyless and bland, and sometimes tortured (“Bright red popcorn can be seen / pouring from the gum machine”). The fantasy lacks cohesiveness and has no real sense of adventure. Odone’s illustrations, also inspired by Sendak, are filled with endless details and surprises and are far superior to the text. But in the end they are too over-the-top, without focus or direction, thus making it difficult to for young viewers to sort it all out. A promising effort that falls short. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-59078-493-8
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Front Street/Boyds Mills
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2008




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