Rhyming text and detailed, fantastic art invite readers to follow along with little monster’s bedtime reading.
The bedtime routine begins on wraparound jacket art that shows a little blue monster clad in a pink nightgown running away to the right on the front cover from her father, who pursues her from the back cover. In the frontmatter pages she first runs away toward the page turn on the title page and then is dragged, crying, into the book proper from the recto dedication page. The first page of the book proper shows her now calm and cuddled up in bed with her dad reading a book. Ensuing pages appear to be from the book they’re reading as they depict a series of fantastic creatures heading off to bed. The verse is usually written as three rhyming lines, with a fourth line breaking the rhyme and reading “Even Bigfoot needs to sleep” but substituting the word “Bigfoot” with “dragons” or “bridge trolls” or “giants” and so on. The gouache illustrations employ a saturated, vivid palette that isn’t at all restful in busy compositions filled with detail (three-legged ET’s in union suits; Frankenstein’s playful kitten). But moments like the spare, wordless final page or the spreads depicting a Yeti and a giant help give rest for the eyes.
Even if it doesn’t send kids straight off to dreamland, it will keep them looking; snuggled close with a grown-up, that’s not all bad. (Picture book. 2-5)