This wordless going-to-bed board book is a cozy way to end the day.
First published in Spain, the story follows a light-skinned, ethnically ambiguous child through the bedtime routine. Children from Western countries will no doubt recognize the protagonist’s nighttime ritual as a mirror of their own, including bathing in a bathtub full of water and bubbles, using a Western toilet, and brushing teeth in front of a bathroom mirror. The child’s adult caregiver is a loving secondary presence, there to wash the child’s hair, read a bedtime story, and banish the monsters from under the bed—without ever drawing attention away from the child. Although the protagonist ends the book wearing pink pajamas and a barrette, laudably, both the child and the adult can be read as gender neutral. The ink-and-watercolor drawings employ a soothing, pastel palette ideal for creating a cozy, going-to-bed atmosphere. The images are full of movement and joy, and they provide the faintest outline of plot. However, the large amount of white space may hinder the book’s appeal for repeated readings: It only takes a few reads to notice all of the details, and the lack of visual intricacy may limit possibilities for creative storytelling, something that is particularly important for image-only texts like this one.
A sweet and simple look at bedtime in the Western world. (Board book. 2-4)