Review: Thank You and Good Night by Patrick McDonnell

Thank You and Good Night by Patrick McDonnell

Thank You and Good Night by Patrick McDonnell (InfoSoup)

Clement, Jean and Alan Alexander were having a pajama party at Clement’s house. The three bounce on the bed together, do the chicken dance, and have a funny-face contest. They played hide-and-seek, had a snack and watched the stars. They all started to get sleepy, so they got ready for bed but still had enough energy to listen to a bedtime story. They ended their party with a list of the things they were thankful for, a very long list.

McDonnell channels the energy and feel of every great classic bedtime read in this new book. He lets us in on the fun of a sleepover, focusing on all of the small things that make for a wonderful night with friends. His recap of the day with gratitude is something that many families can incorporate into their days, whether they are having a pajama party or not. It again returned the focus to those simple joys of life and time spent with one another.

The art has a gorgeous dreamy quality to it at times and other times has a zesty playfulness. The pleasure of the small animals playing with one another and not being sleepy at all transitions beautifully to sleepy creatures headed for bed. The final scene where they are revealed to be stuffed animals belonging to a little girl is particularly lovely.

A gentle bedtime story filled with lots of play and then bedtime for everyone. Yawn! Appropriate for ages 2-4.

Reviewed from library copy.

Review: Tell Me about Your Day Today by Mem Fox

tell me about your day today

Tell Me about Your Day Today by Mem Fox, illustrated by Lauren Stringer

This is the story of a little boy who looked forward to bedtime.  He loved the kisses, the stories, the good night.  But most of all he loved the conversations he had with his stuffed animal friends.  Each of them took a turn telling about what happened during their day: “the who, the what, the why, and the way… the whole wild thing…turned out okay.”  As each character describes their day, it is told solely in pictures with the refrain above as the only words.  And each one builds on the last, creating a picture of a complete day together.  Then the little boy went last, describing his day and filling out the last of their day spent together.

This is such a warm and friendly book.  While it may be unusual for a child to look forward to bedtime, it’s great to have a book that celebrates that part of the day so fully.  Even better, it’s a celebration of a very busy day spent in wonderful play.  Fox’s use of a repeating refrain in each character’s story makes for a book that is gentle and reassuring. 

Stringer’s illustrations tell a lot of the story.  Each character had a slightly different day, told from their point of view.  When the boy’s part comes, they all reach a cohesive whole.  Stringer’s art is done in bright and warm colors, with the deep blues of night a welcome part of the book.  The characters glow on the page, some even seeing to shine light themselves. 

What a great bedtime read!  This book is best shared with your own stuffed friends gathered around and listening too.  Appropriate for ages 3-5.

Reviewed from copy received from Beach Lane Books.