Holy bedtime, Batman!
In a sleepy-looking neighborhood under a dusky cerulean sky, a young, brown-haired, white boy goes through the motions of getting ready for bed: he brushes his teeth, takes a bath, picks up his toys, and feeds his fish. In a parallel visual narrative, beckoned by the cat's-eye–yellow bat-signal, Batman keeps Gotham safe for another night by catching crooks, locking them away, and avenging those who have been wronged. Though the two characters are quite different, through a carefully flexible narrative, Dahl and Beavers weave a convincing tale of just how similar they might be. “It’s time to take care of business” describes the child’s trip to the potty and Batman’s dive down a manhole equally well, for instance. Beavers' art is visually striking and vibrantly hued, perfect for keeping young eyes glued to each page. Dahl's economical text is cadenced with a gentle lilt, just right for a bedtime read-aloud. Young fans of the caped crusader will delight in spying their favorite characters. In the already-overstuffed bedtime-book market, this is certainly a niche read, but it hits its mark well, delivering fun without darkness. A “bedtime checklist” at the end aptly includes “story time.”
This should send Dark Knight fans flying to the Batcave—or the bedroom. (Picture book. 3-8)