A treat of a bedtime book.



Bently and Massini serve up rhyming verse and a bevy of animal friends to guide a little one through the bedtime routine, one “ingredient” at a time.

Although the front endpapers show a mother carrying baby upstairs, there are no parents in sight as a little blond child readies for bed in this decidedly sweet take on the goodnight story. Instead, animate toys provide snuggles and then take steps to “unwrap” (undress), “add to water” (bathe), and so on. Particularly delightful steps include having a toy elephant “add raspberries to tum and feet”; a bottle-feeding suffices for the step “and then add milk.” The baby at the center of all this nurturing is remarkably good-natured and calm, but the animals still return to check after tucking the child in, once again adding milk and singing, too. Their closing song sends baby drifting off to sleep, and then they cuddle up with the child in the crib. Massini’s soft illustrations include charming decorative detail in the setting and on the characters’ clothing while also providing ample visual space for the young readers who will examine the pages while listening to the rhyming verse.

A treat of a bedtime book. (Picture book. 0-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 19, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-399-17625-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: Sept. 21, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2015

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An engaging mix of gentle behavior modeling and inventive story ideas that may well provide just the push needed to get some...


With a little help from his audience, a young storyteller gets over a solid case of writer’s block in this engaging debut.

Despite the (sometimes creatively spelled) examples produced by all his classmates and the teacher’s assertion that “Stories are everywhere!” Ralph can’t get past putting his name at the top of his paper. One day, lying under the desk in despair, he remembers finding an inchworm in the park. That’s all he has, though, until his classmates’ questions—“Did it feel squishy?” “Did your mom let you keep it?” “Did you name it?”—open the floodgates for a rousing yarn featuring an interloping toddler, a broad comic turn and a dramatic rescue. Hanlon illustrates the episode with childlike scenes done in transparent colors, featuring friendly-looking children with big smiles and widely spaced button eyes. The narrative text is printed in standard type, but the children’s dialogue is rendered in hand-lettered printing within speech balloons. The episode is enhanced with a page of elementary writing tips and the tantalizing titles of his many subsequent stories (“When I Ate Too Much Spaghetti,” “The Scariest Hamster,” “When the Librarian Yelled Really Loud at Me,” etc.) on the back endpapers.

An engaging mix of gentle behavior modeling and inventive story ideas that may well provide just the push needed to get some budding young writers off and running. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 18, 2012

ISBN: 978-0761461807

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Amazon Children's Publishing

Review Posted Online: Aug. 22, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2012

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This companion piece to the other fairy tales Marcia Brown has interpreted (see Puss In Boots, 1952, p. 548 and others) has the smoothness of a good translation and a unique charm to her feathery light pictures. The pictures have been done in sunset colors and the spreads on each page as they illustrate the story have the cumulative effect of soft cloud banks. Gentle.

Pub Date: June 15, 1954

ISBN: 0684126761

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1954

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