From Publishers Weekly
This cheery tale proves that there's safety in numbers, at least in the dead of night. With the lights out, a chilly violet glow falls over the bedroom of Alex and his younger brother, Ben and suddenly it feels as if the boys are hosting a veritable convention of spooky noises ("aroo aroo aroo") and spectral shadows (a branch outside casts a shape that's a dead ringer for a boy-eating dragon). Ben wants Alex to come over to his bed and sing a silly song to buck up their spirits. But as Edwards (Chicken Man) and Root (What Baby Wants) observe, who knows what kind of "foot-grabbing, toe-biting something that went whoosh aroo hoo" might grab Alex as he makes the long, cold trek across the room? Working in watercolor and ink, Meisel (Talk to Your Cat) uses every angle of his single, almost monochromatic setting to make the boys' anxieties palpable. He also takes comic advantage of the book's horizontal format, not only exaggerating the space between the beds, but also breaking down Alex's journey to Ben's bed into three separate drawings, so that the trip is simultaneously a nail-biter and a rib-tickler. The final picture, which contrasts the vastness of the dark room with the two boys happily snuggled together in Alex's narrow twin bed, is a comforting tribute to Ben's courage and brotherly ties that bind. Ages 4-7.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
PreSchool-A story of how imagination can run amok, and how one can learn to keep it in check. One dark night, two brothers are put to bed, and before readers' eyes, stuffed animals that looked friendly by day now cast ominous shadows. Then the boys start to hear noises, and are terrified. However, Ben and Alex are independent and plucky, relying entirely on their own resources. Together they create a song that names all of the noises, singing of owls and dogs howling. This song gives them enough peace to finally fall asleep. The pages, all in dusky purple hues, help to evoke a sleepy night. The shadows that fall in the room have the right hint of spookiness without being too frightening. It is easy to see how everyday objects can look a little scary in the shadows, but the illustrations keep the story light, reinforcing the fact that these fears can be overcome. A great choice for family sharing.Susan Marie Pitard, formerly at Weezie Library for Children, Nantucket Atheneum, MA
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.