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GOOD NIGHT, PILLOW FIGHT

Sally Cook, Author, Laura Cornell, Illustrator , illus. by Laura Cornell. HarperCollins/Cotler $15.99 (0p) ISBN 978-0-06-205189-9

"Bedtime ritual" is a phrase that has diametrically opposed meanings for grownups and kids, muse debut picture book author Cook (Another Season ) and Cornell (Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born ). In an homage of sorts to Rear Window , Cornell lets readers peep into the windows of a dozen or so apartment bedrooms, where parents are wooing their fractious children into dreamland with tactics that include a soft-shoe routine (performed by the dad in top hat and tails), yoga, a guitar serenade and even a secured closet to guard against monster attacks. "Good night," writes Cook with a firmness underscored by the solid-looking typography. "Pillow fight!" is the kids' rejoinder on the next spread, depicted in a burst of vignettes showing giddy free-for-alls. "Kiss my cheek," say all the grownups on the next page, which reverts to the apartment view (by now the top-hatted dad is playing a sax, the yoga mom dances to a tambourine, and the guitar has been chucked out the window). "Hide and seek!" respond the kids, secreting themselves in drawers, bookshelves, under sofa cushions and even behind the word "and." Emotions escalate on both sides, but authority and exhaustion finally win out over whining and stalling. The final spread is a tranquil urban nocturne, with every apartment window dark. The staccato text and Cornell's gift for wacky details and pint-size hysteria make this the perfect choice for diehard insomniacs—and the parents who try to remember that they love them. Ages 4-8. (May)

Reviewed on: 04/26/2004
Release date: 05/01/2004
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Library Binding - 978-0-06-205190-5
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