Henry is a very busy toddler who just can’t get enough of all he loves in life. He wants to be lifted up high more, have his favorite song sung more than ten times, play even more games with his sister and be pulled back and forth by his brother even more. As bedtime nears, Henry is in his pajamas but still wide awake. His mother promises two bedtime books, but reads four. Then, shh, Henry is fast asleep. It’s his mother who wants a little more time with Henry at the end.
Ashman uses rhyme to great effect here. Her stanzas feel free and unbound by structure so the rhyming really works well. Read aloud, the rhymes fall into place with Henry himself filling in many of the rhymes with demands for “more” and “again!” Ashman captures the life of a toddler and a family who clearly adores him. Though Henry’s demands may sound harsh in my description, they are done with constant joy and never petulance so the tone of the book is positive throughout.
Hughes’ illustrations show a multiracial family with a grandmother too. The family includes pets and the entire book is filled with warmth and a cheery love. Henry’s own personality is captured in the illustrations with their bright colors and details.
Just right for toddlers, this picture book will be enjoyed by little ones who area also spending their days merrily demanding even more from their families. Appropriate for ages 1-3.
Reviewed from digital galley received from Edelweiss and Penguin Random House.