Hildie Bitterpickles Needs Her Sleep

Robin Newman, illus. by Chris Ewald. Creston (PGW, dist.), $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-939547-23-1
A witch’s search for a good night’s sleep results in numerous run-ins with nursery rhyme and fairy tale characters in this entertaining story from Newman (The Case of the Missing Carrot Cake) and newcomer Ewald. A redheaded young witch named Hildie can’t get to sleep after a giant moves in next door with a “noisy beanstalk elevator” that goes “clangity, clank, clunk all night long.” Then an elderly woman with a “gazillion” noisy children shows up (their home is part Converse sneaker, part retro mobile home), and a wolf huffs, puffs, and blows the roof off Hildie’s house. After enlisting the dubious services of a realtor rat, Hildie realizes that there really is no place like home, using ingenuity to solve her neighbor problems. Sound effects and Hildie’s irate interactions with black sheep, blind mice, and other recognizable characters more keep the story moving quickly, and this is an exceptionally strong debut for Ewald. His gauzy, caricatured images meld playful modern details with familiar storybook figures—readers will have fun spotting cameos by Humpty Dumpty, Little Miss Muffet, and more. Ages 4–8. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 01/25/2016
Release date: 04/01/2016
Genre: Children's
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