Sleepy, the Goodnight Buddy

Drew Daywalt, illus. by Scott Campbell. Disney-Hyperion, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4847-8969-8
Top talents Daywalt (The Day the Crayons Quit) and Campbell (Hug Machine) take on the familiar story of the reluctant sleeper, and things escalate quickly. Presented with the eponymous stuffed toy by his exasperated parents, ace bedtime avoider Roderick “couldn’t decide whether it looked more like a moose or more like a bear.” While Sleepy may seem goofy at first glance, bedtime proves him to be an even more insistent and successful procrastinator than his new owner. Sleepy never blinks (“No matter where Roderick put him, he could still FEEL Sleepy looking at him”), he’s incredibly touchy (“Well, I can’t sleep even if you’re a little mad”), and his annoying ruminations (“You ever wonder what it all means?”) fill a cascade of dialogue balloons until the increasingly exhausted Roderick loses his temper—and the reader begins to wonder who, exactly, is trolling whom. As Roderick realizes he’s met his match, Campbell’s digitally enhanced watercolor vignettes model perfect comic pacing and a laugh-generating repertoire of character expressions for both the out-of-control Sleepy and his increasingly frustrated bedmate. Ages 3–5. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 06/18/2018
Release date: 09/11/2018
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