From Publishers Weekly
In a series of rhymes, Wangerin (Probity Jones and the Fear Not Angel) dispels a child's fear of the dark by teaching the lessons of God's love and presence. As the rhymes begin, a mother responds to her son's question: "How much do I love you?/ Lay down your head,/ My gingerbread,/ And listen: I'll tell you." She elaborates by telling him that if robbers should come into the room, "I'd clobber those robbers/ Until they slobbered/ And all their teeth decayed." If her son is threatened by monsters, "I'd grab my reaper,/ My vacuum sweeper,/ And suck those monsters down!" After she reassures him that she will protect him against all things, the mother then tells her son, "Here in your room/ All night while you're sleeping,/ Kinder and wiser/ And best for safekeeping/ Is God." Huang's illustrations capture the wildness of the child's imagination and provide just the right background for Wangerin's humorous rhymes. Ages 5-8.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 1-It is difficult to determine the purpose or audience for this disturbing, bizarre book. A mother answers her son's questions about how much she loves him by describing how she would rescue him from ominous threats-robbers, monsters, and menacing stars and owls. She concludes by telling him that he is in God's "safekeeping" for "...God loves you,/even better than I." The bouncy rhythm may amuse some children but, overall, the text is filled with uneven rhyme, awkward phrasing, peculiar images, and vocabulary beyond many young children's understanding. Also, ideas of menacing figures entering a child's bedroom won't provide needed comfort, even if the child is ultimately rescued. The final message that "God loves you best of all" is a complex idea for young children who need a more concrete sense of security. The illustrations make effective use of soft colors, shading, and light to create a sense of the story; however, the images of a frightened child and shadowy villainous figures won't inspire sweet dreams. Barbara Joosse's Mama, Do You Love Me? (Chronicle, 1991), Sam McBratney's Guess How Much I Love You (Candlewick, 1995), and Margaret Wise Brown's Runaway Bunny (HarperCollins, 1942) are far better choices of literary lullabies.Heide Piehler, Shorewood Public Library, WI
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.