cover image How to Put Your Parents to Bed

How to Put Your Parents to Bed

Mylisa Larsen, illus. by Babette Cole. HarperCollins/Tegen, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-06-232064-3

Larsen playfully changes up the bedtime routine in her debut picture book, with parents and child swapping roles. The young narrator directly addresses readers: “Have you looked at your parents? Poor things. Just between you and me, they are not looking their best. They need to go to bed.” She then shares point-by-point instructions on how children can take charge and calmly address their parents’ unruly behavior, distractions (TV, cell phones, email), and excuses in order to tuck Mom and Dad in. “Now you can finally enjoy some time for yourself,” writes Larsen, though, as in most bedtime books, the process of putting someone else to bed proves exhausting in itself. Cole (The Trouble with Dad) delights in the parents-as-rabble-rousers setup, cramming her cartoons with comic scenes of the young, tutu-clad protagonist trying to force her doughy, fidgety, and easily distracted parents into their pajamas before literally dragging them to bed. Readers should find lots to laugh over in the household chaos of this topsy-turvy story. Ages 4–8. Author’s agent: Erin Murphy, Erin Murphy Literary Agency. Illustrator’s agent: Jodie Marsh, United Agents. (Feb.)