When a boy refuses to go to bed, his toys encourage him to rest in this debut picture book.
Buzzy isn’t quite ready for dreamland. He’s in the middle of building a Moon Base with his toy Moon Man, finding hidden treasure with his pirate crew (which features a roguish teddy bear, a robot, and two construction workers alongside the appropriately named Captain Pirate), stomping with Giant Dinosaur, and searching for a lost city with Courageous Explorer and his mule. So when Buzzy’s dad says it’s bedtime, the boy’s immediate response is “NO!” But that shout starts a series of conversations with exhausted toys. Moon Man wisely quips, “However will we get the Moon Base finished without rest?” Captain Pirate and his crew are looking forward to more adventures—tomorrow, because they’re just too tired to find more treasure tonight. Even Giant Dinosaur needs a good night’s sleep before she can fulfill Buzzy’s stomping plans. The child’s last hope is Courageous: surely one toy still wants to play. But the explorer explains that the best way to find the City of Gold is in Buzzy’s dreams (“That’s the only way. We hope you’ll help us”). In this entertaining work, Hackworth delivers a clever twist on the usual good-night tale, and youngsters with active imaginations may respond with greater appreciation to toys explaining the value of sleep than to parents trying to impart the same lesson. The illustrations by Baptist, a fellow newcomer to children’s books, offer plenty of humorous details to keep kids poring over every page while never once depicting Buzzy himself and showing only his dad’s feet. This gives children the opportunity to visualize the family on their own. The toys aren’t as diverse as they could be: only Giant Dinosaur is a girl, and the majority of the human toys are white. The inclusion of the City of Gold narrative and spear-wielding natives (also white-skinned) remains problematic but is only touched on in passing. More obvious is the way Courageous’ mule flees from the snakes its owner seems to have not even noticed.
A giggleworthy ode to creativity perfect for youngsters who have trouble saying good night.