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CUDDLE TIME by Libby Gleeson


by Libby Gleeson & illustrated by Julie Vivas

Age Range: 2 - 4

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-7636-2320-2
Publisher: Candlewick

Unfortunate word choice and a disconcerting image mar an otherwise engaging story of two toddlers’ early-morning adventure in this Australian import. Gleeson’s rhyming text is told mainly in the voice of the older child. The unnamed narrator encourages her (or possibly his) younger sibling to wake up, roll out of bed, crawl down the hall and join her in climbing into their parents’ bed. Although Vivas takes care to show that both children land on soft covers, the illustration of the baby landing head-down on a hardwood floor is unsettling. Also potentially disturbing is Gleeson’s use of “mangle” in the litany of ways that the family interacts as they hug and cuddle. Parents willing to overlook these quibbles may be won over by Vivas’s softly rounded, richly colored watercolor-and-pencil illustrations and by Gleeson’s obvious affection for the cozy family ritual she describes. But more than most, this is one picture book that readers will want to preview before reading (or purchasing). (Picture book. 2-4)