by & illustrated by
Age Range: 2 - 5
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A trio of young elephants settles down to sleep in this sweetly illustrated bedtime story. Naturally, Baby, being the youngest, drifts off to dreamland first. However, while Humphrey (first seen as the lead in Humphrey’s Corner, not reviewed) amiably gets ready for bed, his older sister Lottie bustles about busily preparing her own stuffed animals for lights out. After all, as she emphatically declares throughout the tale, “I don’t go to bed yet. I am a BIG GIRL.” Hunter perceptively reflects an astute and sympathetic understanding of birth order and resulting sibling behavior. As Humphrey happily splashes in the tub, snacks on supper, and hears a special story, Lottie is a miniature version of a parent figure, dutifully nurturing her “offspring” and refusing to join in. Hunter’s delicately colored illustrations, pale to the point of disappearing, are a gentle blend of wry humor and tenderness. They deftly capture the unique personalities of the youngsters: scenes of domestic tranquillity (filled with the clutter of everyday living) that depict Humphrey’s evening routine are juxtaposed with Lottie’s increasingly frazzled demeanor. However, just when it seems Lottie, exasperated over her own darling’s antics, is about to indulge in a tantrum, Daddy comes home to tuck his special girl into bed. Funny and sentimental: a cozy tale to share with newly autonomous preschoolers and their younger siblings. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-8050-6903-8
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Henry Holt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 2001