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An Almost Bedtime Story

by Kate Lum

Pub Date: April 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-8037-2382-2
Publisher: Dutton

With the help of shrewd, patient grandmother, Patrick scores a victory for all bedtime foot-draggers in this energetic debut of two children’s book newcomers. With the sun on the horizon, Patrick points out that he has no bed; springing into action, Granny chops down a tree, hauls out her toolbox and presents him with a fine new bed. Unfortunately, as a poker-faced Patrick complains in succession, he has no pillow, blanket, or teddy; by the time Granny—quietly, relentlessly toiling on despite her Herculean tasks—has finished gathering chicken feathers, weaving wool, and converting the curtains into a huge purple bear, morning sunlight is flooding in. Johnson gives his illustrations a 1960s retro look, with canted perspectives, long slanted borders, and a color scheme involving turquoise, orange-reds, and pastel greens; these colors, evenly applied in large background fields, cool off as sunset deepens into night, then warm to signal the approaching day, slyly preparing viewers for the concluding punchline. Children will snuggle down with smiles on their faces after this comic spin on the paraphernalia associated with a common ritual. (Picture book. 5-7)