Bedtime Monster


Bedtime Monster by Heather Ayris Burnell, illustrated by Bonnie Adamson

When Paul was told that it’s time to go to bed, he is too busy playing to hear it.  When Mom reminded him again that it’s time for bed, he grumbled, then screeched.  And then?  Then a strange thing happened and Paul turned into a monster, complete with scaly tail and sharp claws.  Paul acted like a monster too, banging and crashing around the house.  His parents knew just what to do.  They scooped him up, sang him a lullaby, and slowly Paul returned to being a boy and went to bed.  At the end of the book, Paul’s father admits that he too was once a little monster, and readers will delight in spotting his monster tail as he stands in the doorway. 

Burnell’s text is simple and straight-forward.  She keeps the text brief enough to be used with very small children at bedtime.  Adamson’s watercolor and ink illustrations are very successful with their textured background that adds depth and their bright colors.  She captures the transformation into a monster with a sweetness and non-scary approach. 

Thanks to the gentle humor of the text and images, children will understand that they can sometimes be monsters too.  The reactions of the parents is lovely and patient, something that is also great to see in a picture book.

Yes, there are many bedtime books to choose from, but this one’s quiet humor and lovely illustrations should get it added to the bedtime pile.  It’s very nice for those children who might turn a little green at bedtime themselves.

Reviewed from ARC received from Raven Tree Press.

Andre Norton Award Nominees Announced

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) have announced the nominees for the 2010 Nebula Awards.  The award winners will be announced on May 21, 2011.  The awards include the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy.  Here are the nominees for best novel and for best YA:




Blackout/All Clear by Connie Willis

Echo by Jack McDevitt

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by NK Jemisin


The Native Star by MK Hobson

Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal

Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor


Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy


Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld (my review)

A Conspiracy of Kings by Megan Whalen Turner

Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword by Barry Deutsch


Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (my review)

Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi (my review)

White Cat by Holly Black (my review)

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Scars Is Being Challenged!

Sigh.  It always seems to happen to the best of the teen books.  The ones that really reach out to the teen experience, the ones that explore darkness, the ones that carry truth.

So it should come as no surprise that Scars by Cheryl Rainfield has joined the ranks of other incredible teen books being challenged.

What does come as a surprise is that it’s happening in a Public Library rather than a School Library.  At the same time, we must realize that a challenge does not mean removal.  It means that someone wants it removed and that the library must consider the challenge seriously, listen to the complaint, and then decide if it is in the right place in the library or should be moved.

With Scars as with other teen titles there is much to frighten overly-protective parents.  But that does not mean that it is not beautiful, powerful and exactly what teens should be reading. 

I encourage people to contact Boone County Public Library and make sure they know that there are people expecting them to do what is right for teens in their community.  As a librarian, I know that it would give me strength and energy to have people stand with me in defense of a book.  But hey, I’m from Wisconsin where we are definitely finding our power in action and community.