Big-sister bunnies Bessie and Lil come perilously close to waking the baby bunny as their mother tries to get everyone to bed.
In a metafictive setup, Mama Rabbit tries to read her daughters a gentle bedtime story about a mother rabbit putting her own three bunnies to bed. It’s quickly apparent that she’s having much less success than her book-within-the-book counterpart. Bessie and Lil don’t settle down as they listen and instead take inspiration from the story’s references to skipping, fireflies and the sound of the word “tuck” to make interjections and bounce around the room. Mama starts to get exasperated but eventually decides to read to herself while her girls occupy themselves by looking out the window for fireflies. When they ask to kiss the baby goodnight, Mama acquiesces with some trepidation, but the girls are very quiet and careful and don’t wake him. Then they kiss her goodnight, too, and only need to be shushed twice before they drift off to dream of skipping about with fireflies. It’s ultimately a gentle bedtime story, after all. Gudeon’s sweet ink-and-gouache paintings, “stained and textured with teabags,” include details that add to characterization through items in the girls’ bedroom—a rocket ship that looks like a carrot, family portraits on the wall and so on.
A sweet spin on the bedtime book that many households will probably find familiar. (Picture book. 3-6)