cover image Time to Say Goodnight

Time to Say Goodnight

Sally Lloyd-Jones, , illus. by Jane Chapman. . HarperCollins, $15.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-06-054328-0

It's bedtime in the forest and all the animal parents are putting their offspring to bed. "Little birdies, cheep, cheep, cheep./ No more songs now, sleep, sleep, sleep!" says a father cardinal. A few pages later, a big bear tells his two cubs to "Stop that growling and behave,/ Little bears in your dark cave." But if youngsters think they're getting off scot-free, they're in for a surprise. On the penultimate spread, the animals squarely address readers: "What about/ you ,/ sleepyhead?/ .../ No more songs now, not one peep./ Close your eyes and go to sleep!" (On the following page, a child sleeps, surrounded by stuffed animals.) Fans of Chapman's exuberant Bear Snores On and its sequels (with Karma Wilson) may find the text here less compelling, but there's no denying the soothing predictability of the rhymes. Chapman's saturated palette and textured brushwork make the forest seem not only lush but also radiant with a moonlit glow. The animals exude both a subtle grace and cheeky spirit. Ages 3-7. (Feb.)