God Bless You and Good Night

Hannah C. Hall, illus. by Steve Whitlow. Thomas Nelson, $9.99 (20p) ISBN 978-1-4003-2294-7
Animal parents around the world prepare their little ones for sleep in this winsome board book, Hall’s debut. Whitlow’s (The Story of Easter) illustrations feature different adult and baby pairs in their natural habitats, but with a human touch: an otter plays with a rubber ducky during bathtime in the river; a kangaroo hops over a grassy plain in pink bunny slippers; owls nestle on a tree branch. A crescent moon and stars shine in a sky that turns from blue to purple to black by the final page, while animals follow a familiar nighttime routine: snack, bath, pajamas, storytime, prayer, lullaby, cuddle, and bed. Hall’s gentle, singsong rhymes, with one four-line stanza per page, narrate the activities; an elephant parent, for example, lifts a blanket-holding baby in its trunk while saying: “You’re ready now to cuddle down./ There’s one last thing to do./ I’ll hold you near so you can hear/ Me whisper, ‘I love you.’ ” First and last stanzas repeat the title phrase. Visually appealing and soothing in tone, this is a welcome addition to the bedtime bookshelf. Ages 1–4. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/15/2013
Release date: 09/01/2013
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