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Nighty-Night, Cooper


When it's time for good night, don't just close your eyes!
Mama and Cooper have a sweet surprise.
With new songs to sing (you may know the tunes . . . ),
Bedtime is special for these kangaroos.

     Cooper just can't fall asleep! But Mama has an idea. Setting new stories to familiar tunes, ...

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When it's time for good night, don't just close your eyes!
Mama and Cooper have a sweet surprise.
With new songs to sing (you may know the tunes . . . ),
Bedtime is special for these kangaroos.

     Cooper just can't fall asleep! But Mama has an idea. Setting new stories to familiar tunes, Mama shares six new lullabies with her not-so-sleepy son. Which Kanga will be the first one to dreamland?
     This merry story—with original lullabies—was created by the talented author of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, Laura Numeroff. The sonorous text is paired with art by illustrator Lynn Munsinger—known for her kid-friendly characters like Tacky the Penguin and Wodney Wat. Pair this with Lots of Lambs for another Numeroff/Munsinger treat!

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Cooper is a small kangaroo who can’t get to sleep. When mama kangaroo responds with her own pastiche of “Rock-a-bye Baby” (“There’s a pig sailing/ in a small boat/ Going so slowly/ Floating along”), Cooper realizes he’s onto a delaying tactic and asks for more homemade songs; his request to “Please sing the one about the sky that I like” is met with a version of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” that celebrates the shapes of clouds. This homegrown Tin Pan Alley finally closes up shop for the night, but not before Cooper offers up a reengineered lullaby of his own: a sheep-counting variation of “Lullaby and Good Night.” Numeroff strikes just the right balance of silly and sweet as she injects fresh thinking into six musical chestnuts, and her easy-to-learn ditties make it simple for parents and children to serenade one another at bedtime. As always, Munsinger’s anthropomorphized animals are quietly marvelous, exuding tenderness, sly comedy, and astute observation. Readers of all ages will take one look at the initial image of the insomniac Cooper and want to know more. Ages 4–8. (Sept.)
From the Publisher
"As lullabies go, the familiar tunes with the new lyrics may just keep sleepyheads entertained for a few go-rounds, and sleep can wait."

"Numeroff strikes just the right balance of silly and sweet as she injects fresh thinking into six musical chestnuts . . . As always, Munsinger's anthropomorphized animals are quietly marvelous, exuding tenderness, sly comedy, and astute observation."
Publishers Weekly

"This offering by a well-known duo is sure to become a well-known, well-sung favorite."

"A witty conclusion will leave both adults and children smiling."
School Library Journal

Children's Literature - Claudia Mills
Not ready yet for bedtime, a little joey climbs out of his kangaroo mother's pouch to beg for a lullaby, then another, then another, until finally it is Cooper's turn to sing to Mama, causing her to be the one who first falls asleep. The book consists chiefly of the six lullabies sung by Mama and Cooper with new words set to familiar tunes: "There's a Pig Sailing," to "Rock-a-Bye, Baby;" "A Mouse Got Out of Bed," to "The Farmer in the Dell;" "I See Clouds Up in the Sky" to "Twinkle-Twinkle Little Star;" "PJs Are So Nice to Wear," to "Mary Had a Little Lamb;" "Daddy Bear, Baby Bear," to "Jingle Bells;" and "Close Your Eyes, Try to Sleep," to "Lullaby and Good Night." It is somewhat unsettling that, although Cooper and Mama converse together in rhyme, the first lullaby, set to "Rock-a-Bye, Baby," rhymes only in passing, and rhymes in some of the other songs are somewhat forced. But although this lacks any real story to invite frequent rereading, it might inspire families to craft their own original lullaby lyrics to make these familiar tunes truly their own. Reviewer: Claudia Mills, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
PreS-K—Mother Kangaroo establishes a ritual of singing lullabies to young Cooper before bedtime. However, like any typically energetic child, the joey has difficulty settling down: "I can't sleep." But his mama presses on, creating her own verses to six childhood favorite melodies such as "Rock-a-Bye Baby" and "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star," as Cooper keeps asking for another. Rhymed couplets that read aloud easily move the story along between the clever ditties. Comforting illustrations show soft curving lines of text as well as gestures of warm hugs on the couch, amid the exuberant antics of Cooper, who is pictured climbing on the back of the sofa and holding a toy sailboat. A witty conclusion will leave both adults and children smiling. Although bedtime stories are in abundance, this one is a winner.—Blair Christolon, Prince William Public Library System, Manassas, VA
Kirkus Reviews
Despite his mama's inviting, warm pouch, Cooper, a young kangaroo, is having trouble falling asleep. He requests a few lullabies. So his mother does some inventive thinking and comes up with a few variations on themes: There is a nice turn on "Rock-a-Bye Baby," and another on "The Farmer in the Dell." "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" gets a modest noodling, and, strangely, perhaps the best is "Jingle Bells": "Daddy bear, baby bear, / Dancing everywhere / They dance all day / Until it's night / And then they brush their hair! / Oh, dance all day / Dance all night / Dance until you doze / Daddy and his baby bear / Can dance up on their toes." As mother starts drifting into her own dreamland, young kangaroo is still firing on at least three cylinders. Finally, he succumbs, and everyone can get some sleep. The text is dear in the extreme but has enough warmth not to be saccharine, but Munsinger's artwork lifts the work to a higher ground. She can capture a look--on the first page, Cooper looks absolutely blasted, fighting slumber like Wellington fought Napoleon--as surely as George Stubbs caught horses. As lullabies go, the familiar tunes with the new lyrics may just keep sleepyheads entertained enough for a few go-rounds, and sleep can wait. (Picture book. 4-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780547402055
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 9/10/2013
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 678,844
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.66 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 0.36 (d)

Meet the Author

Laura Numeroff

Laura Numeroff is the author of many books for young children, including If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, What Mommies Do Best/What Daddies Do Best, and The Jellybeans and the Big Dance. She lives in Los Angeles, CA.


If you give a series-prone author an inch, she'll take a mile -- and fortunately for fans of Laura Numeroff's books, she took her concept and is still running with it. Her aphoristic animal stories show what happens when you give a little something ... and get a big list of follow-up requests.

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and its companion titles have become favorites not only of parents, but of teachers who like the books' visual elements and domino-effect storylines. Numeroff's other popular titles, What Mommies Do Best/What Daddies Do Best and What Grandpas Do Best/What Grandmas Do Best, are loving paeans to activities shared with adults.

A would-be fashion designer who grew up in Brooklyn and now lives in California with a mini-menagerie of pets, Numeroff's stock in trade is her "silly imagination" and her love of animals. Her versatility as a storyteller has been enhanced by the fact that she works with different illustrators, though it also means that all Numeroff titles may not suit the same reader. Her anthropomorphic stories often capitalize on fantasy, but she also has a knack for rhyme, evident in particular in her books Dogs Don't Wear Sneakers and Chimps Don't Wear Glasses.

Numeroff doesn't seem to run out of ideas for ridiculous situations to put people and animals in, nor does she stop celebrating what's special about family relationships. This is what will keep readers coming back to her titles, series-oriented or not.

Good To Know

Numeroff says her parents instilled a love of science and stamp collecting in her as a child, and she has grown into a collector as an adult. Among her collections: stuffed animals, old photographs, autographed children's books, and Halloween masks.

As a teenager, Numeroff was inspired by her sister to become a fashion designer, leading to her attendance at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn for college. "Unfortunately," she says, "I hated everything about the fashion department and I couldn't sew to save my life!" Instead, she took a class on writing and illustrating books for children. Her first effort, about the tallest girl in the third grade, was sold before Numeroff graduated. (Amy for Short is now out of print.)

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    1. Also Known As:
      Laura Joffe Numeroff
    2. Hometown:
      Brentwood, California
    1. Date of Birth:
      July 14, 1953
    2. Place of Birth:
      Brooklyn, New York
    1. Education:
      B.F.A. with honors, Pratt Institute, 1975; attended Parsons College, 1975
    2. Website:

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