The Nuts: Bedtime at the Nuthouse

Eric Litwin, illus. by Scott Magoon. Little, Brown, $18 (32p) ISBN 978-0-316-32244-7
Hazel and Wally Nut, anthropomorphic nuts who live in an impressive tree house with their parents, have no interest in bedtime. They prefer to stay up playing, dancing, howling at the moon, and singing "We're nuts! We're nuts! We're nuts," ignoring Mama Nut's increasingly stern request: "All little Nuts need to go to bed." Magoon's (Spoon) digital illustrations create a boisterous world for the Nut family to inhabit (their home features a ball pit and an observatory), and Mama's "coif" lends her a particularly authoritative presence as she gives her little nuts "the look." Pete the Cat author Litwin leans heavily on nut-related puns (while Wally and Hazel pretend to be astronauts, an off-stage voice announces, "Houston, we have a praline!" as Hazel plants a flag for the "Unutted States"), which give the book a fairly one-note brand of humor as it makes its way to a reassuring bedtime conclusion. Readers can listen to and/or download Litwin's bluesy spoken-sung performance of the book and two additional songs at www.TheNutFamily.com. Ages 3–6. Author's agent: Amy Rennert, Amy Rennert Agency. Illustrator's agent: Rebecca Sherman, Writers House. (July)
Reviewed on: 08/18/2014
Release date: 07/01/2014
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