It’s time for the whole world to go to sleep: “Goodnight planet, goodnight world./ Peaceful clouds around Earth curled.” Waves rock ocean liners to sleep (wispy Zs puff out of their smokestacks), and even a rocket ship has put on a pair of plaid pajamas. In treetops and burrows, at the North Pole and zoo, babies of various species are seen snuggling with siblings, many of them entranced by a bedtime story read by a parent. And at a house where humans live, a small boy in his father’s arms looks out the window: “Goodnight sounds of distant cars,/ and in the sky, a million stars.” Gliori’s (Dragon’s Extraordinary Egg) salute to the day’s end has some misses (a Northern Lights display looks oddly droopy and gelatinous) and perhaps a few too many overly familiar scenes of loving, cuddling families. But there’s a comforting, plush-toy quality to her rounded images, and enough inventiveness—a honey-colored image of a queen bee reading to her entire hive is funny and touching—to make this a fine addition to the bedtime bookshelf. Ages 3–6. (Aug.)
PreS-K—Mommies, daddies, boys, and girls are not the only ones who go to sleep at night. Planets, clouds, snow and ice, animals, plants, vehicles, and more—everything goes to sleep A young child snuggles into bed with mom and dad to read a bedtime story and say good night to the world. This sweet picture book told in rhyming verse makes an ideal bedtime tale for little ones. The illustrations are done in charcoal and watercolor in soft shades of blue, green, yellow, and pink, the colors of twilight. The smoothly flowing text has the calming feel of a lullaby. The book is large and inviting, and the cover is dotted with shiny gold stars; children will eagerly pick it up. This is a great choice to have in a library collection for checkout, but it will probably not be used often for a story hour. VERDICT The perfect selection to snuggle up with. It is like being wrapped in a soft, warm blanket just before naptime.—Amy Shepherd, St. Anne's Episcopal School, Middleton, DE
A rhyming journey around a child's world just before bedtime. Swooping, colorful motifs on each spread and lilting couplets invite the familiar practice of bidding goodnight to vehicles, flowers, and animals big and small that later appear as toys in a child's bedroom. Beginning in the stratosphere, the story tours various ecological habitats before landing at last in the bedroom of a white child whose parents are settling down for bed. Unfortunately, the book's artwork falls short of lulling readers. Importantly, penguins and sea lions are more likely to be found in the Antarctic than the Arctic, as implied here. Disjointed organization transports readers from oceans under northern lights to trains and rocket ships, from birds, bees, and deep-sea fish to a sleepy zoo. Inconsistent scale and proportion pose further problems. What looks like a young white girl walking a dog outside soon disappears, while inside the house a few page turns later is a white woman reaching for the child (perhaps she is mother?), with the same dog curled up nearby. Additionally, the text, though at times endearing ("Goodnight lights above, aglow"), at other times hiccups a bit ("Goodnight moon, goodnight sun. / Goodnight, goodnight, to everyone"). Uneven meter and unclear meaning interrupt an otherwise soothing read-aloud. This bumpy goodnight journey won't likely lead to golden slumbers. (Picture book. 3-5)
“Debi Gliori brings grandeur and tenderness to the business of going to bed . . . Curving lines and warm, bright colors give a feeling of softness to illustrations . . . Lovely.” Wall Street Journal
“An ideal bedtime tale for little ones . . . The perfect selection to snuggle up with. It is like being wrapped in a soft, warm blanket just before naptime.” School Library Journal
“A comforting, plush-toy quality to her rounded images, and enough inventiveness . . . to make this a fine addition to the bedtime bookshelf.” Publishers Weekly
“Rich and evocative but beautifully simple, with lovely cadences for reading aloud. . . One would be hard-pressed to find a warmer or more engaging adoption/blended-family tale than this one.” Kirkus Reviews on DRAGON'S EXTRAORDINARY EGG
“Witty, well-worded, and warmhearted. . . Endearing characters and engaging illustrations. Children will be immensely satisfied with the surprise ending.” School Library Journal on DRAGON'S EXTRAORDINARY EGG
“A family history about unlikely but enduring love. . . There's a lot of enjoyment to be derived from the contrast of the preening, aerodynamic dragons with the good-hearted groundedness of the penguins.” Publishers Weekly on DRAGON'S EXTRAORDINARY EGG
“Gliori's watercolor-and-ink illustrations are both detailed and delicately executed, charming and wowing at the same time. There is much to enjoy here, and the illustrations and allusions beg for repeat readings.” Kirkus Reviews on WHAT'S THE TIME, MR. WOLF?
“From the morning-and-night endpapers to the final illustration in which Mr. Wolf sleeps happily in his bed with rabbits curled up on each bedpost, this will have children spotting new delights for many a re-reading.” Horn Book on WHAT'S THE TIME, MR. WOLF?