A fun twist of a familiar phrase and a delightful new bedtime tale.

FORTY WINKS

A BEDTIME ADVENTURE

You thought your family’s bedtime rituals were complicated! Meet Mama and Papa Wink—and their 38 young mouselings.

The elder Winks share parental duties. First, they rustle up a bedtime snack. “Some sipped and some slurped, / some gobbled and burped, / while others said ‘thank you’ and ‘please.’ ” Bathtime and “snug-fuzzy flannels and caps” come next, then “every small Wink scamper[s] off to the sink, / brushing and flossing in pairs.” The text relates that “they were each read a book (what a long time that took!).” It takes so long that Mama reads “ ’til she snooze[s] a wee snore.” After prayers, “some curled with blankies / (a few had the crankies), / but each babe was tucked in just right.” Until…Moe squeaks for a drink, and then, of course, all 38 need one last cup of water. Finally, in a series of illustrations of adorable, snuggling mice abed, the 40 Winks sleep, and sleep, and sleep until “It’s time to start over again!” With the soothing rhythm of an old-time nursery rhyme, alliteration, and end and internal rhymes, this makes for a fun read-aloud. Detailed illustrations capture the energy of this busy family, and clothing choices, postures, and expressive faces make each of the 40 Winks distinctive—so much so that, on the last spread, the challenge to name each unlabeled Wink is achievable. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A fun twist of a familiar phrase and a delightful new bedtime tale. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 12, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-4197-4552-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2021

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Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it.

YOUR BABY'S FIRST WORD WILL BE DADA

A succession of animal dads do their best to teach their young to say “Dada” in this picture-book vehicle for Fallon.

A grumpy bull says, “DADA!”; his calf moos back. A sad-looking ram insists, “DADA!”; his lamb baas back. A duck, a bee, a dog, a rabbit, a cat, a mouse, a donkey, a pig, a frog, a rooster, and a horse all fail similarly, spread by spread. A final two-spread sequence finds all of the animals arrayed across the pages, dads on the verso and children on the recto. All the text prior to this point has been either iterations of “Dada” or animal sounds in dialogue bubbles; here, narrative text states, “Now everybody get in line, let’s say it together one more time….” Upon the turn of the page, the animal dads gaze round-eyed as their young across the gutter all cry, “DADA!” (except the duckling, who says, “quack”). Ordóñez's illustrations have a bland, digital look, compositions hardly varying with the characters, although the pastel-colored backgrounds change. The punch line fails from a design standpoint, as the sudden, single-bubble chorus of “DADA” appears to be emanating from background features rather than the baby animals’ mouths (only some of which, on close inspection, appear to be open). It also fails to be funny.

Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 9, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-250-00934-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

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A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends.

GOOD NIGHT, LITTLE BLUE TRUCK

Is it a stormy-night scare or a bedtime book? Both!

Little Blue Truck and his good friend Toad are heading home when a storm lets loose. Before long, their familiar, now very nervous barnyard friends (Goat, Hen, Goose, Cow, Duck, and Pig) squeeze into the garage. Blue explains that “clouds bump and tumble in the sky, / but here inside we’re warm and dry, / and all the thirsty plants below / will get a drink to help them grow!” The friends begin to relax. “Duck said, loud as he could quack it, / ‘THUNDER’S JUST A NOISY RACKET!’ ” In the quiet after the storm, the barnyard friends are sleepy, but the garage is not their home. “ ‘Beep!’ said Blue. ‘Just hop inside. / All aboard for the bedtime ride!’ ” Young readers will settle down for their own bedtimes as Blue and Toad drop each friend at home and bid them a good night before returning to the garage and their own beds. “Blue gave one small sleepy ‘Beep.’ / Then Little Blue Truck fell fast asleep.” Joseph’s rich nighttime-blue illustrations (done “in the style of [series co-creator] Jill McElmurry”) highlight the power of the storm and capture the still serenity that follows. Little Blue Truck has been chugging along since 2008, but there seems to be plenty of gas left in the tank.

A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 22, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-328-85213-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: June 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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