Good Night Engines

Good Night Engines

3.0 2
by Denise Dowling Mortensen, Melissa Iwai
     
 

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In this imaginative, inviting bedtime book, lyrical verse tells of various vehicles winding down for the night and "rolling off to bed." On alternate spreads, luminous paintings depict a little boy playing with toy engines in his bedroom as well as life-sized engines in the outside world. The soothing text and large, up-close pictures of trucks, planes, and fire…  See more details below

Overview


In this imaginative, inviting bedtime book, lyrical verse tells of various vehicles winding down for the night and "rolling off to bed." On alternate spreads, luminous paintings depict a little boy playing with toy engines in his bedroom as well as life-sized engines in the outside world. The soothing text and large, up-close pictures of trucks, planes, and fire engines, among others, will make this a favorite bedtime story of all toddlers and preschoolers who are fascinated with things that go.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"a very simple...goodnight story for toddler truck-and-engine lovers...The unforced rhyme beautifully expresses both the rush...then the hush." Booklist, ALA

"little charmer...for the vehicle-obsessed toddler...savory, rich colors...striking...illustrations are meticulous...just enough text to engage...soothing cadence" KIRKUS REVIEWS Kirkus Reviews

"story is as smooth and easy as a familiar lullaby...acrylic, full-page spreads match the quiet text...sure to appeal." SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL School Library Journal

"playing to kids' perennial fascination with vehicles...the level of detail with suit preschoolers, as will the rhythms..velvety acrylics" PUBLISHERS WEEKLY Publishers Weekly

Publishers Weekly
Playing to kids' perennial fascination with vehicles, this bedtime book-Mortensen's debut-uses truncated rhyming verse to describe how a train, 18-wheel truck, fire engine, etc., slow down at the end of the day: "Jumbo jet plane/ cleared to land./ Downward, roaring/ turbofan./ Wheels on runway in a rush./ Grinding. Stopping. Resting./ Hush." The level of detail will suit preschoolers, as will the rhythms, but what will almost certainly command the audience's attention is Iwai's (Snuggle Mountain) visual interpretation. Her velvety acrylics create a modest but effective story line, about a boy giving his toys a final spin before going to bed. Pictures of the boy alternate with images of the real-life vehicles. Readers meet the boy while he is busy with his toy trains; the next spread shows a sleek passenger train speeding across a bridge. The two strands meet in a fitting conclusion. A mother tucks the boy in bed and darkens his room ("Turn off motor,/ switch off light") as the text invites the "tired engine" to say good night. This sweet book will help motor-happy readers to put their own engines in idle. Ages 2-6. (Oct.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
A lullaby for the trains, planes, and automobiles crowd, this rhythmic, rhyming text is a surefire hit. A little boy puts the cars in the garage, the big rigs in their truck stop, the airplane in its hangar, and the fire engine in the firehouse as they all settle down to the promise of night coming. Just as the little boy knows he will soon be asleep, so are all the engines as well. Children fear that by going to sleep they will somehow miss something and so they resist bedtime. But if all of the engines need their rest, so must the child. Illustrated in large, appealing double-page spreads, the pictures themselves invite the reader into the bedtime preparations. As dusk approaches and then passes into nighttime, the tones become muted and soft as the child heads for bed himself. This is an appealing read aloud for the little ones in your life who make a nightly ritual at bedtime of saying good night to the world around them. One by one the toys finish their work and begin to rest just as the little one will by the end of this soft, calming book. 2003, Clarion Books, Ages 3 to 6.
— Joan Kindig, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-In this imaginative bedtime story, a little boy is putting his toy cars, trucks, train, and plane away for the night. As he guides the train along the windowsill one last time, a real one "thunders down the line" and quietly comes to rest. He brings his vehicles into safe quarters just as the neighborhood autos arrive at their carports. On the final page, the child sleeps in his bed, cradling a red toy car, his engine spent. Told in rhyme, the story is as smooth and easy as a familiar lullaby: "Wheels on runway in a rush./Grinding. Stopping. Resting./Hush." Iwai's acrylic, full-page spreads match the quiet text. Dominant colors reflect the shifting light, so that the pinks and oranges of the early pages give way to deeper purples and blues by book's end. The perspective changes not only from the boy's room to the outside world, but also from the scale of his playthings to the objects beyond. Children will relate to this depiction of this end-of-day ritual, and the book is sure to appeal to kids who love big rigs.-Shawn Brommer, South Central Library System, Madison, WI Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
This little charmer is clearly intended for the vehicle-obsessed toddler. As a young boy plays with his cars, trucks, planes, and trains, the bedtime theme emerges with: "Sunset glowing in the west. / Engine slowing, / wheels at rest." In savory, rich colors, the most striking of which are the deep plums and cobalt blues, Iwai's illustrations are meticulous. The settings alternate from realistic, life scenes of, say, a plane landing on a runway (perhaps the boy's imaginative vision) with that of the boy holding the toy plane aloft. The little tyke's bedroom is a pleasant jumble of toys that make up the backdrop of his play with blocks, stuffed animals, jacks, and all manner of conveyance. Mortensen has written just enough text to engage the sleepy child while the soothing cadence will help ease the youngster into a contented slumber. (Picture book. 2-5)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780618135370
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
10/20/2003
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
9.25(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.13(d)
Age Range:
2 - 5 Years

Meet the Author

MELISSA IWAI has illustrated many books for children, including Gramps and the Fire Dragon. She lives in Brooklyn, New York with her family.


DENISE DOWLING MORTENSEN is also the author of the picture book Ohio Thunder. She lives in Chatham, New Jersey with her family.

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Good Night Engines 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
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