Every child has his or her own personal repertoire of rationalizations for avoiding bed, and every parent has a stockpile of counter offensives. In Kiss Good Night
, Mrs. Bear covers all the bases: "Hmmmm...Book, blanket, friends, milk...," but her son, Sam, isn't ready. "I'm waiting," he keeps saying. Could there be anything
Mama Bear is forgetting? Amy Hest's sweet story, gorgeously illustrated by Anita Jeram in warm, earthy greens, golds, browns, and reds, provides a rhythm to the bedtime ritual that will soon have sleep-fighting tots relinquishing their day to night. The comforting manner of easygoing Mrs. Bear as she comes up against her son's quiet resistance--even while the wind blows and rain comes down outside--is an antidote to nighttime anxiety. A perfect read-aloud from Hest (In the Rain with Baby Duck
) and Jeram (illustrator of Sam McBratney's bestselling Guess How Much I Love You
). (Ages 3 to 7) --Emilie Coulter
From Publishers Weekly
Hest (When Jessie Came Across the Sea) pays tribute to reassuring bedtime rituals that assuage a toddler's fears even on a "dark and stormy night." Sam the bear cub will not go to sleep. "I'm waiting," he keeps telling Mrs. Bear, even though she's checked off everything on the bedtime list: book, blanket, friends (his stuffed toys) and milk. Then it dawns on Sam's mom that she's forgotten the kiss good night. Sam manages to coax a total of 10 goodnight kisses from Mom. With understated repetition and lyricism, Hest establishes the coziness of the nighttime interplay as well as the menacing sounds of the storm from inside Sam's bedroom: "Splat! on the roof. Splat! Splat! on the windows. The wind blew. Whoo, whoooo." Jeram moves from the light palette and breezy artwork in Guess How Much I Love You to thickly applied acrylic paintings. Her radiantly rendered ochre and rust shades translate easily from the autumn storm outside to the sturdy furniture and heavy wool blankets inside. While her characters' expressions seldom change, she uses their contrasting physical presence to great effect. The hulking Mrs. Bear is a literal bulwark of maternal devotion, while Sam's roly-poly poses comically communicate his coy devotion. Ages 2-up.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.