Part zoo, part train, all bedtime.

ALL ABOARD THE MOONLIGHT TRAIN

Not sleepy? Then grab your ticket to the ride of a lifetime.

Young railroad enthusiasts with a reluctance for bedtime will heartily embrace this gentle trip on the ultimate animal train line. A small, Asian-presenting child reaches from a locomotive-shaped bed to snatch a ticket from the air, which spirits them to a train where “wild things await,” quite literally. Whether it’s the toucan ticket taker, the elephant working the engines, or the warthog waiters in the dining car, there’s something to enjoy around every corner. And after all the delights have been sampled, the train drops the child off, safe and sound, at home with a final “Good night, good night, Moonlight Train!” Won infuses her art with lighthearted, luminous energy. There is the titular moonlight, certainly, but also starlight, the light of hot coals, and cozy interior lamplight. Sharp-eyed spotters will enjoy finding the animals strewn about the child’s bedroom that show up on the train and its line at various times. Rhyming text maintains a regular rhythm in keeping with a chugging nighttime train. Every four-line stanza, with the exception of the last, ends with the call “All aboard the Moonlight Train!”—and sleepytime readers will be hankering to obey.

Part zoo, part train, all bedtime. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: March 31, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-525-64543-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Dec. 18, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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Although a bit on the slight side, this offering is infused with a warm, light humor just right for cuddling up with a young...

THE BIGGEST KISS

This title previously published in the U.K. takes a cozy look at all kinds of kisses.

Walsh’s rhyming text is full of cutesy rhythms: “Kisses on noses, kisses on toes-es. Sudden kisses when you least supposes.” Sometimes the phrasing stumbles: “Who likes to kiss? I do! I do! Even the shy do. Why not try, too?” But toddlers and young preschoolers will probably not mind. They will be too engaged in spotting the lively penguin on each spread and too charmed by Abbot’s winsome illustrations that fittingly extend the wording in the story. Patient dogs queue up for a smooch from a frog prince, cool blue “ ’normous elephants” contrast strikingly with bright red “little tiny ants” and a bewildered monkey endures a smattering of lipstick kisses. Be the kiss small or tall, one to start or end the day, young readers are reminded that “the very best kiss… / is a kiss from you!” Perhaps no big surprise but comforting nonetheless.

Although a bit on the slight side, this offering is infused with a warm, light humor just right for cuddling up with a young tyke or sharing with a gathering for storytime.     (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Dec. 20, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-4424-2769-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Nov. 20, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2011

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An adventurous treat of a bedtime story.

BEDTIME FOR SWEET CREATURES

A patient mother with a healthy sense of whimsy helps prepare her headstrong toddler for bed.

The story opens with a toddler, fists raised into the air, proclaiming, “No! No! No!” Thank goodness this not-at-the-moment-sweet creature’s mother is patient and creative as she corrals her child into a bedtime routine that may feel familiar to many readers. The words and behaviors of the child evading bed are translated into animal sounds and behaviors: wide-eyed and asking “Who? Who?” like an owl; shaking hair and roaring like a lion; hanging on for a hug like a koala. And, of course, the requisite leaving bed for a last trip to the bathroom and drink, like a human child. Zunon’s art takes this book to the next level: Her portrayals of the animals mentioned in the text are colorful and full of intriguing patterns and shapes. Additionally, the expressions on the faces of the mother, child, and animals speak volumes, portraying the emotions of each. Arguably, the sweetest part of the story comes at the end, when the child asks to sleep with Mommy and Dad. Though the mother sighs, the child climbs in, along with “owl, bear, snake, kitty, fawn, squirrel, koala, tiger, wolf.” (Readers attuned to details will notice the father’s look of delight at the parade of animals.) All characters are Black.

An adventurous treat of a bedtime story. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Jan. 14, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4926-3832-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2019

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