As effectively as Good Night Moon and Grandfather Twilight, this book will help children get ready for sleep.
When it’s Zaza’s bedtime, her six stuffed-animal friends get individual attention as she tucks them in for the night. George Giraffe is so long he requires two beds, over which Zaza stretches his soft blue body out for a rest. The spotted and flowered Bobby gets a tummy tickle; Mo, the snake, hears a song; and Pinkie, the rabbit, gets cuddled. Red bear Rosie, Zaza’s favorite, receives the most special attention. All of this love gets showered back on Zaza when Mommy enters. Mother and daughter both have deep brown skin and natural hair. Zaza’s afro puffs encircle her head, and Mommy wears a full Afro—offering much-needed mirrors for black and brown children. Despite the quietude of this good-night story, the bold, solid-colored, bright background for each image and the contrasting busy patterns on the stuffed animals and Zaza’s bedspread make it feel like a wide-awake story until the final, soothing-pink background lulls readers to sleep. Observant children will also notice that the eyes of the stuffed animals open and close—suggesting that they might be as alive as Zaza.
A wonderful depiction of a daily bedtime ritual for a family that happens to be black. (Picture book. 2-4)