Role reversal finds a little girl trying to put her parents to bed.
Direct address aligns child readers with the “you” in the text—a spirited little blonde, white girl who resists her parents’ attempts to get her to go to bed. After several attempts fail, the text directs attention to beleaguered parents: “Poor things. Just between you and me, they are not looking their best. They need to go to BED.” Cole’s accompanying illustration shows a close-up of dazed, disheveled parents with bags under their eyes. Ensuing pages show the parents resisting bedtime due to adult preoccupations—household chores, cellphones, and so on—brought to humorous extremes through the art. The story unravels a bit when outright regression sets in, and the parents simply start to act as the girl did at the beginning of the book by resisting bedtime for resistance’s sake. They even demand bedtime stories. In a rather predictable turn of events, when they finally go to sleep, the little girl is tuckered out and falls asleep too. Although the story falters in these ways, Cole’s art is defined by its energetic line and humor, which help elevate the book as a whole.
This bedtime book is good for some laughs—even though it feels a bit tired. (Picture book. 3-5)