Julie Markes, , illus. by David Parkins. . HarperCollins, $14.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-06-053790-6

Parkins (Jeepers Creepers ) makes imaginative work of Markes's (Thanks for Thanksgiving ) minimal text. Not until the final spread do readers discover that a mother is making the case for bedtime to her young son, explaining that everyone's tucked into bed. "The teacher is sleeping./ School's done for the day," the book opens. Parkins has a field day picturing her sleeping right in her classroom, among the desks and crafts supplies; the librarian falls asleep reading, naturally, surrounded by bookshelves; and the grocer rests comfortably alongside his produce on—what else?—a bed of lettuce. Youngsters also will get a kick out of the plush friends resting next to the characters: a raccoon garbed in prison stripes for the policeman (they slumber under a "Wake/Don't Wake" sign) and an eagle for the president of the United States (whose identity is artfully concealed by star-spangled bedclothes). Parkins's cushy, rounded shapes, sly comic details and a palette that suits each sleeper's vocation make each spread as inviting as a down comforter on a cold winter night. It's easy to see why the boy in the book's final vignette goes to sleep without an argument; all the people who precede him look so content that they may convince even the most accomplished bedtime procrastinator to join them. Ages 3-6. (Jan.)