Possibly a new nighttime favorite for both sides in the battle for bedtime.

GOOD NIGHT, ALLIGATOR

If you are going to keep an alligator, you must understand these rules.

As the book opens, an adult man and woman, both Black, tell their alligator that toys must be put away; it’s time for bed. With a toothy grin, their alligator tells them alligators don’t do that. Their alligator points out a factoid in a book explaining alligators are nocturnal. The next request is that the alligator take a shower. It turns out that alligators do not take showers, as the shampoo can drip into their eyes. Alligators prefer baths…in the swamp. Alligators don’t wear pajamas (there’s no place for the tail), nor do they brush their teeth. However, they may wear special green nightshirts and accept help in brushing their 80 sharp teeth. Alligators also don’t care for stories about fluffy bunnies, but they may be persuaded to listen to something about alligators or maybe sharks. Alligators might lurk under covers, but no tucking in! And they may accept a kiss on the head. After all of that struggling, though, alligators (and small children…) might just drift off. Van Slyke’s tongue-in-scaly-cheek take on bedtime rituals may give the nocturnal resistance some fresh ideas, but it definitely makes for a fun settle-down story. Boldt’s bright illustrations make the most of the contrast between the remarkably serene human parents and their saurian charge right up to the last picture, of a smiling, slumbering human kid. They will elicit giggles as young listeners recognize themselves in each twist of resistance and expression of disdain. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Possibly a new nighttime favorite for both sides in the battle for bedtime. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 10, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-250-21830-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

Review Posted Online: June 16, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 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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