Goodnight Already!

Jory John, illus. by Benji Davies. Harper, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-06-228620-8
John (All My Friends Are Dead) and Davies (The Storm Whale) bring fresh humor to a familiar scenario, tracing the push and pull between a character desperate to get some shut-eye and one who is far from ready for bed. Here, the sleepy party is Bear, who has just tucked into bed (along with his tiny stuffed pink rabbit) when the doorbell rings. Barging in is his friend and neighbor, Duck, who’s “never been so awake” and is determined to have fun with Bear—any kind of fun (“Make smoothies?” “No.” Start a band?” “No”). Both the repartee and the sight gags display excellent timing, making the most of the classic comic tension between a hulking grouch and a diminutive pest. But this is also a physically lovely book: working in a distilled style reminiscent of classic UPA animation, Davies uses nocturnal blues, geometric patterning, and contrasting scale in a way that makes every page pop. The one thing readers will not say about this book is “Enough already!” Ages 4–8. Author’s agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. Illustrator’s agency, the Bright Agency. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 10/13/2014
Release date: 12/01/2014
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