Anyone who’s ever protested bedtime will surely want this story to continue in their own time machines

IT'S NOT A BED, IT'S A TIME MACHINE

Where the Wild Things Are meets Harold and the Purple Crayon with an imagination that’s brand new.

Beginning with delightful endpapers of childlike dinosaur sketches, this story recasts bedtime as adventure time. A preschool-age child lies in bed, terrified, as mom says, “Be brave. You’re the Boss of Bedtime!” Feeling anything but bosslike, the timorous kid peers nervously around the dark room, certain that trouble lurks nearby. But trusty stuffed bunny Floppy encourages the child to imagine the bed as a time machine that can take them anywhere, even to a land of dinosaurs! Off go the kid, bunny, and bed to a wild space of meadows and mountains (and a basketball hoop and a grill), where friendly dinosaurs play games and live together. Eventually the narrator’s bravery exceeds Floppy’s, even making friends with an affable T. Rex, who plays games and doesn’t want his new playmate to leave. The lively and vivid digital art is full of details big and small, especially in the borders. These are illustrations that deserve to be explored again and again. The opening spread, in particular, contains key clues to this fantastical nighttime adventure. The protagonist appears to be a child of color, with light-brown skin and short, straight black hair.

Anyone who’s ever protested bedtime will surely want this story to continue in their own time machines . (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: June 4, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-250-16762-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Imprint

Review Posted Online: March 31, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2019

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Vital messages of self-love for darker-skinned children.

THE NIGHT IS YOURS

On hot summer nights, Amani’s parents permit her to go outside and play in the apartment courtyard, where the breeze is cool and her friends are waiting.

The children jump rope to the sounds of music as it floats through a neighbor’s window, gaze at stars in the night sky, and play hide-and-seek in the moonlight. It is in the moonlight that Amani and her friends are themselves found by the moon, and it illumines the many shades of their skin, which vary from light tan to deep brown. In a world where darkness often evokes ideas of evil or fear, this book is a celebration of things that are dark and beautiful—like a child’s dark skin and the night in which she plays. The lines “Show everyone else how to embrace the night like you. Teach them how to be a night-owning girl like you” are as much an appeal for her to love and appreciate her dark skin as they are the exhortation for Amani to enjoy the night. There is a sense of security that flows throughout this book. The courtyard is safe and homelike. The moon, like an additional parent, seems to be watching the children from the sky. The charming full-bleed illustrations, done in washes of mostly deep blues and greens, make this a wonderful bedtime story.

Vital messages of self-love for darker-skinned children. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: July 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-55271-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2019

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A quiet story of sharing with no strings attached.

EXTRA YARN

A little girl in a town of white snow and soot-blackened chimneys opens a small box and discovers a never-ending gift of colorful yarn.

Annabelle knits herself a sweater, and with the leftover yarn, she knits one for her dog, and with the yarn left over from that, she knits one for a neighbor and for her classmates and for her teacher and for her family and for the birdhouse and for the buildings in town. All and everything are warm, cozy and colorful until a clotheshorse of an archduke arrives. Annabelle refuses his monetary offers, whereupon the box is stolen. The greedy archduke gets his just deserts when he opens the box to find it empty. It wends its way back to Annabelle, who ends up happily sitting in a knit-covered tree. Klassen, who worked on the film Coraline, uses inks, gouache and colorized scans of a sweater to create a stylized, linear design of dark geometric shapes against a white background. The stitches of the sweaters add a subdued rainbow. Barnett entertained middle-grade readers with his Brixton Brothers detective series. Here, he maintains a folkloric narrative that results in a traditional story arc complete with repetition, drama and a satisfying conclusion.

A quiet story of sharing with no strings attached. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Jan. 17, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-06-195338-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2011

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