The exuberant heroine of On My Way to the Bath (2012) returns to tackle that most perilous of childhood rituals: bedtime.
Making bedtime avoidance and delay into a high art, Livi calls upon a number of strategies when her mother informs her that it is time for bed. Assuring readers that she isn’t even remotely sleepy (“Bed is for tired people,” she is quick to point out), she finds creative ways to slow the bedtime process down to a crawl. Suddenly, she’s a tightrope walker, a rocket scientist or even an octopus as the situation demands. When, at long last, an understandably frazzled mom gets her offspring under the sheets, Livi sleeps like an angel. So well, in fact, that her response to her mother’s gentle wake-up call the next morning is to become a hibernating bear. Honestly funny from start to finish, the madcap digital art isn’t afraid to, at times, relinquish the goofy for a truly lovely spread, as with the opening and closing endpapers. Livi achieves precocity without even a hint of saccharine. It’s hard to resist her final wail—“I don’t want to miss anything!”—which reveals what’s really been going on here.
Bed-based procrastination is nothing new, but Livi’s imaginative play takes the experience to an entirely superior level. (Picture book. 3-7)