This leads him (or possibly her) to imagine the bird on the window sill flying around the world to say goodnight to...

A youngster settling into bed ponders a curious fact:  “Elsewhere in the world it’s light. / It’s morning there, but here it’s night.” 

This leads him (or possibly her) to imagine the bird on the window sill flying around the world to say goodnight to everything. Beginning with stars and planets, passing through deserts, mountains and oceans, bidding goodnight to rain forests and animals far away, the bird comes closer and closer to home, to the child’s own street and house, yard animals and, finally, his siblings and friends. “Good night, world, / as darkness brings… / SWEET DREAMS / to every living thing.” The dreaming child curls up with a stuffed rabbit and the bird. Fisher’s slightly surreal mixed-media illustrations on double page spreads combine painted patterns, textures and surprising colors. An oryx bounds across a marbled pink-and-blue desert. Greenish whales cavort in breaking Hokusai-inspired waves, midnight blue and capped with white against a pink sky. On one spread, trees are drawn as crayoned triangles; on another, a single leaf, apparently collage, forms the body. There is much to see and think about in the illustrations for this simple bedtime rhyme. Fittingly, the text concludes with a list of ways to say goodnight in 16 languages, written in appropriate scripts and including pronunciations.

Pub Date: July 12, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-4424-0197-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2011


A droll exploration of color and nature—and a welcome reminder to safeguard our planet.

Daywalt and Jeffers’ wildly popular Crayons have an important ecological message.

Though climate change is never mentioned, the book nevertheless gently introduces responsibility for Planet Earth. As in previous titles, the main text is in a large black font, while the Crayons’ dialogue is presented in a smaller, gray font. Blue begins by showing off a blue-tinged image of the globe (land masses are depicted in a darker hue). Green takes over: “Yay, Trees! I did those!” Beige breaks in, pointing to a tiny wheat plant next to two large trees: “And wheat! I did the WHEAT!” Beige puts wheat front and center throughout—even on White’s drawing of mountaintop ice caps. When Red, Yellow, and Orange display drawings of various fruits, Beige interjects, “And WHEAT. Wheat is totally fruit.” Diplomatic Purple politely responds, “Um. NO. It is not.” Purple attempts to dissuade self-important Beige, but it all ends happily as the Crayons join hands and proclaim: “Our planet has all of us too, in many shapes, colors, and sizes.” Beige and Purple reconcile, with Beige adding, “And it’s our job to keep the planet safe.” Young children will easily absorb this positive message. Although these characters have had many outings, their quiet humor still succeeds, and fans will definitely want this new entry.

A droll exploration of color and nature—and a welcome reminder to safeguard our planet. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Feb. 13, 2024

ISBN: 9780593621080

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: Nov. 18, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2023


Animated and educational.

A hare and a ground squirrel banter about the differences between related animals that are often confused for one another.

Jack is “no Flopsy, Mopsy, or Cottontail,” but a “H-A-R-E, hare!” Like sheep and goats, or turtles and tortoises, rabbits and hares may look similar, but hares are bigger, their fur changes color in the winter, and they are born with their eyes wide open. As the ground squirrel (not to be mistaken for a chipmunk (even though Jack cheekily calls it “Chippie”) and Jack engage in playful discussion about animals, a sneaky coyote prowls after them through the Sonoran Desert. This picture book conveys the full narrative in spirited, speech-bubbled dialogue set on expressive illustrations of talking animals. Dark outlines around the characters make their shapes pop against the softly blended colors of the desert backgrounds. Snappy back-and-forth paired with repetition and occasional rhyme enhances the story’s appeal as a read-aloud. As the story progresses, the colors of the sky shift from dawn to dusk, providing subtle, visual bookends for the narrative. One page of backmatter offers a quick guide to eight easily confused pairs, and a second turns a subsequent exploration of the book into a seek-and-find of 15 creatures (and one dessert) hidden in the desert. Unfortunately, while most of the creatures from the seek-and-find appear in poses that match the illustrations in the challenge, not all of them are consistently represented. (This book was reviewed digitally with 7-by-20-inch double-page spreads viewed at 53.3% of actual size.)

Animated and educational. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: March 16, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-358-12506-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: Jan. 12, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2021

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