Bedtime Is Canceled

Cece Meng, illus. by Aurélie Neyret. Clarion, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-547-63668-9
“The note read ‘Bedtime is canceled.’ Maggie thought of it. Her brother wrote it.” Of course, the siblings’ parents don’t buy the ruse upon receiving the note, but a fortuitous gust of wind whisks it to the desk of a newspaper reporter who puts the “official” word on the front page, and the news spreads. As a result, kids play, snack, and watch TV all night, and adults shuffle zombielike through the next day. Meng (I Will Not Read This Book) includes several nods to today’s rapid-fire dispersal of information (“A television reporter received an urgent text about it and raced to the school”) as well as goofy non sequiturs (“tired moms and dads were so busy yawning, some of them buttered the dog’s tail instead of the toast”), while French illustrator Neyret, making her U.S. debut, employs digital artwork featuring exaggerated facial expressions and a warm palette dominated by reds, oranges, and violets. But both the text and prose have a muted, even sleepy, quality that doesn’t live up to the “kids rule” mayhem of the premise. Ages 4–8. Agent: Laura Rennert, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/15/2012
Release date: 11/01/2012
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