Move over, Goodnight Moon. There’s a new star on the bedtime bookshelf.

GOOD NIGHT LIKE THIS

From the ...Like This series

The third entry in Murphy’s ...Like This series explores the nighttime world of animal parents and babies settling down for sleep.

Each double-page spread shows a different adult-baby animal pair (or grouping of several youngsters) in its own outdoor environment. The adult-baby pairs or groups clearly convey deep attachment, but the pairings are not specified as mother-child, so the book is equally meaningful for dads or grandparents or caregivers to read to their favorite little ones. The patterned text offers a few descriptive words in a rhyming couplet followed by a simple “good night, sleep tight” wish. A cleverly designed half-page flap then turns to show the animals sleeping “like this.” A tiny animal or insect pops up on these sleepy pages with a white speech balloon offering a cheery “Good night!” These little critters are also skillfully camouflaged on the full-page illustration the flap lies over, providing an additional layer of interest as readers look back to spot the hiding places. Vibrant illustrations use a glowing palette of golds and purples, swirling lines, and Murphy’s signature thick, black outlines to create an evocative atmosphere of deepening twilight. This is a bedtime story that has it all: humor, playful language, and a soothing combination of rhyme, rhythm, and repetition woven together with compelling illustrations that have the surrealistic edge of the dream world.

Move over, Goodnight Moon. There’s a new star on the bedtime bookshelf. (Picture book. 1-5)

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-7636-7970-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Nov. 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2015

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A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an...

I AM A BIG BROTHER

A little boy exults in his new role as big brother.

Rhyming text describes the arrival of a new baby and all of the big brother’s rewarding new duties. He gets to help with feedings, diaper changes, playtime, bathtime, and naptime. Though the rhyming couplets can sometimes feel a bit forced and awkward, the sentiment is sweet, as the focus here never veers from the excitement and love a little boy feels for his tiny new sibling. The charming, uncluttered illustrations convincingly depict the growing bond between this fair-skinned, rosy-cheeked, smiling pair of boys. In the final pages, the parents, heretofore kept mostly out of view, are pictured holding the children. The accompanying text reads: “Mommy, Daddy, baby, me. / We love each other—a family!” In companion volume I Am a Big Sister, the little boy is replaced with a little girl with bows in her hair. Some of the colors and patterns in the illustrations are slightly altered, but it is essentially the same title.

A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an older sibling can do to help. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-545-68886-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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An excellent, rounded effort from a creator who knows how to deliver.

EEK! HALLOWEEN!

The farmyard's chickens experience Halloween.

A round, full moon shines in the sky, and the chickens of Boynton's barnyard are feeling “nervous.” Pumpkins shine “with flickering eyes,” witches and wizards wander the pastures, and one chicken has seen “a mouse of enormous size.” It’s Halloween night, and readers will delight as the chickens huddle together and try to figure out what's going on. All ends well, of course, and in Boynton's trademark silly style. (It’s really quite remarkable how her ranks of white, yellow-beaked chickens evoke rows of candy corn.) At this point parents and children know what they're in for when they pick up a book by the prolific author, and she doesn't disappoint here. The chickens are silly, the pigs are cute, and the coloring and illustrations evoke a warmth that little ones wary of Halloween will appreciate. For children leery of the ghouls and goblins lurking in the holiday's iconography, this is a perfect antidote, emphasizing all the fun Halloween has to offer.

An excellent, rounded effort from a creator who knows how to deliver. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Aug. 23, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-7611-9300-5

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Workman

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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