Bedtime Is Canceled

Overview

The note read: Bedtime is canceled. Maggie thought of it. Her brother wrote it. A journalist read it. This was big news. He reported it. Before they knew it, the whole city discovered that bedtime had officially been canceled, so no one went to sleep!

Cece Meng, author of I WILL NOT READ THIS BOOK and TOUGH CHICKS, delivers once again with a pitch perfect cautionary tale, a wry parody of our information-glutted age, and heart-warming brother & sister...

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Overview

The note read: Bedtime is canceled. Maggie thought of it. Her brother wrote it. A journalist read it. This was big news. He reported it. Before they knew it, the whole city discovered that bedtime had officially been canceled, so no one went to sleep!

Cece Meng, author of I WILL NOT READ THIS BOOK and TOUGH CHICKS, delivers once again with a pitch perfect cautionary tale, a wry parody of our information-glutted age, and heart-warming brother & sister adventure. Illustrated by French artist, Aurélie Neyret, who makes her U.S. debut with wit and whimsy.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
“The note read ‘Bedtime is canceled.’ Maggie thought of it. Her brother wrote it.” Of course, the siblings’ parents don’t buy the ruse upon receiving the note, but a fortuitous gust of wind whisks it to the desk of a newspaper reporter who puts the “official” word on the front page, and the news spreads. As a result, kids play, snack, and watch TV all night, and adults shuffle zombielike through the next day. Meng (I Will Not Read This Book) includes several nods to today’s rapid-fire dispersal of information (“A television reporter received an urgent text about it and raced to the school”) as well as goofy non sequiturs (“tired moms and dads were so busy yawning, some of them buttered the dog’s tail instead of the toast”), while French illustrator Neyret, making her U.S. debut, employs digital artwork featuring exaggerated facial expressions and a warm palette dominated by reds, oranges, and violets. But both the text and prose have a muted, even sleepy, quality that doesn’t live up to the “kids rule” mayhem of the premise. Ages 4–8. Agent: Laura Rennert, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. (Nov.)
From the Publisher
"A few reads of this ought to tire out kids before their not-canceled-after-all bedtimes."
Booklist

"Meng playfully expands and exaggerates children's efforts to put off the inevitable lights-out and turns a universal tug of war into a hilarious tour de force."
Kirkus

"Meng's writing is clear, direct, and funny, and Neyret's digitally created illustrations have an appropriately comic and cartoonish tone."
Bulletin
From the Publisher

"A few reads of this ought to tire out kids before their not-canceled-after-all bedtimes."
Booklist

"Meng playfully expands and exaggerates children's efforts to put off the inevitable lights-out and turns a universal tug of war into a hilarious tour de force."
Kirkus

"Meng's writing is clear, direct, and funny, and Neyret's digitally created illustrations have an appropriately comic and cartoonish tone."
Bulletin
Children's Literature - Amy McMillan
Every child dreams of doing away with bedtime and being able to stay up as late as they want, but as they read this silly story about the joys and pitfalls of such a dream coming true they might come away with a slightly different perspective. Maggie and her unnamed brother concoct a note cancelling bedtime to give to their parents but the note gets away from them and finds its way onto the desk of a not-too-observant newspaper reporter and thus into the next morning's headlines. The adults are a bit incredulous but it is on the news, so it must be true, right? That night, kids everywhere party and celebrate and come out none the worse for wear while the grownups put their pants on backwards, forget how to solve 1+1 and fall asleep during dinner. Maggie and her brother decide it is time to undo what they have done and when the new note is delivered the parents rejoice and things return to normal. Mostly. Kids will love the idea of having control over something like bedtime and rejoice in the ridiculous antics that ensue. The text is perfectly concise and the illustrations are realistically funny. Guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser at story times. Reviewer: Amy McMillan
School Library Journal
.PreS-Gr 2—Two precocious children start a rumor that bedtime is canceled, and the rest of the town is gullible enough to believe it. It starts when Maggie comes up with the notion and her older brother writes it down. Their parents don't fall for it, so the note gets tossed. But it is caught by the wind, blows out the window, and lands on a reporter's desk. When "BEDTIME IS CANCELED!" becomes front-page news, a stunned Principal Nancy enforces the law in spite of the unhappy parents who are throwing tantrums in the flower beds. Social media and TV spread the word and kids throughout the area enjoy a wild rumpus all night long. The next day, mischievous Maggie and her brother snicker at the bleary-eyed adults. Unfortunately, the worn-out teachers are so busy napping that they let the students out of school later than usual. Maggie and her brother put an end to the game, to the relief of adults everywhere, but they are not out of ideas yet-Neyret's digital art includes full-page pictures and rough-edged spot illustrations that show reaction shots and the consequences of the siblings' naughty plot. An amusing additional purchase.—Martha Simpson, Stratford Library Association, CT
Kirkus Reviews
A bedtime prank goes viral, resulting in giggle-inspiring consequences. Maggie and her brother write a note to their parents announcing the cancellation of bedtime. Of course their parents don't believe it and throw the note in the trash. The note flies out the window, lands on a reporter's desk, becoming headline news in print and on television and in endlessly forwarded emails. Now bedtime really is canceled, and chaos ensues. The children stay up all night playing, snacking and watching TV, with this scenario repeated all over town. Morning brings exhausted adults who can't function, though children seem remarkably unaffected. The next note takes pity and, to every parent's delight, revokes the disastrous change and reinstates the natural order of things. All these notes work so well that Maggie and her brother try a new message….Meng playfully expands and exaggerates children's efforts to put off the inevitable lights-out and turns a universal tug of war into a hilarious tour de force, with the children decidedly in charge and loving it. Neyret's digital illustrations have a mangalike sensibility, depicting very modern settings with wide-eyed, expressive characters, joyfully enhancing the goofy proceedings and adding a few sly touches of her own. Suspend all disbelief and enjoy. (Picture book. 4-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780547636689
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 11/6/2012
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 130,164
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 1.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Cece Meng works as a small-business consultant and freelance copywriter. She lives with her husband and their two children in Santa Cruz, California. For more information visit www.cecemeng.com.


Aurélie Neyret is an artist and illustrator living in Rhône, France. She has worked for several European publishers, such as Editions Sed, Bayard Jeunesse, and Petit à Petit on projects ranging from children books or magazines, to more mature projects including trading cards illustrations for video game giant SquareEnix.

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