Mischievous mix-ups rule in this fun-loving tale of barnyard babies who stave off the bedtime hour for as long as possible. To the consternation of their surprised parents, the ducklings, piglets, lambs and chicks initially swap beds. "You sassy scalawags! You're not my darling ducklings!" Father Duck admonishes the piglets he finds frolicking in his pond. Mother Hen scolds the lambs in her chicken coop, "You naughty scamps! You're not my chicky chicks!" Subsequent stalling tactics will be familiar to children and parents everywhere: "We want ten kisses each!" "Tell us one more story, please!" (Or, as the piglets squeal, "We have to wee, wee, wee!") Australian collaborators Wild and Argent (Miss Lily's Fabulous Pink Feather Boa) depict these antics through simple, rhythmic sentences and muted watercolors that lend a cozy, snuggle-up feel to the story. Argent's expressive paintings combine well with Wild's repetitive and sometimes alliterative phrasing: "Settle down." "Snuggle up." "Sleep tight." "Nighty night!" Young readers won't want these characters to say good night and will surely use this book to forestall their own imminent bedtimes. Ages 2-6. (Sept.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Getting little ones to go to bed can be a tricky task at times, especially when they prefer to stay up for various reasons. Mother Sheep, Father Duck, Mother Hen and Father Pig have the darnedest time doing this one evening on the farm. When called to bed, the young animals trick their parents by going to the wrong areas of the farm. The adult animals do not find this out until they go to tuck in their charges. The young animals are gently scolded and directed to go to bed. Before retiring for the evening, they make one final request of their parents, which turn out to be so irresistible. Are the little animals up to their tricks again? In this charming bedtime story, children will squeal with delight at the antics of the young animals. Playing a trick on one's parents is probably one of the greatest joys of a child's life, and young readers will be able to relate to the joy experienced by these little animals. Most of all, the love shown by the adult animals to their offspring¾both males and females¾is warm and comforting. This is needed to settle the little ones in and to bring closure to a playful evening. The author and illustrator of this book (which was originally published in Australia) are notables in their fields. Margaret Wild is the author of more than thirty books, while Kerry Argent is probably most noted for her picture book One Woolly Wombat. 2001, Peachtree Publishers, $15.95. Ages 3 to 6. Reviewer: Jeanette Lambert
PreS-K-Four parents are trying to get their little ones off to bed. Instead of her "lovely lambs," however, Mother Sheep finds rascally chicks, Father Duck finds sassy piglets, Mother Hen finds naughty lambs, and Father Pig finds tricky ducklings. Once the animals are rounded up, the little creatures postpone going to sleep by using some of the same tricks children are familiar with-asking for one more story, saying they are thirsty, etc. Argent's lovely watercolor illustrations highlight the characters' humorous expressions. The well-designed book features appropriately spaced spot illustrations on white alternating with richly colored pages. Full-page spreads are sparingly used to provide visual punch. This rhythmic, repetitive bedtime story will lull kids to sleep and comfort tired parents.-Debbie Stewart, Grand Rapids Public Library, MI Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Wild (The Pocket Dogs, p. 423, etc.) scores again with a barnyard of animal babies who won't go to bed. It is time to be tucked in and the parent animals-Mother Sheep, Father Duck, Mother Hen, and Father Pig-send their children to bed. Mother Sheep arrives at her pen but when she calls, "Nighty night, my lovely lambs" her little lambs have been replaced by little chicks who say, "Cheep! Cheep! Tricked you!" And so it goes throughout the barnyard as one parent after another stands in open-mouthed surprise at finding substitute children. Father Duck discovers piglets in the pond, "You sassy scalawags!" Mother Hen is shocked that the lambs are tucked into the nest in her hen house and ducklings surprise Father Pig. They are all sorted out in the end with a chorus of "Nighty nights." There is one last delaying tactic from each and the piglets claim they have to "wee, wee, wee." The repeated phrases will be sure to have sleepy children chiming in and Argent's (Sleepy Bears, 1999, etc.) strong, rich watercolors offer beguiling parents and offspring. A delightful bedtime treat that could stir up "little rascals." (Picture book. 3-5)