cover image Bedtime


Elsa Warnick. Harcourt Children's Books, $10 (28pp) ISBN 978-0-15-201471-1

This slight volume breaks down bedtime preparation into its components, from putting away toys and brushing teeth to turning on the nightlight. Warnick (illustrator of Ride the Wind: Airborne Journeys of Animals and Plants) presents less a story than an itemized list: ""Bring your teddy bear/ and your special blanket/ and your favorite book."" Each soft, straightforward watercolor presents a portrait of a single object--toilet paper roll, sink, pillow--against a plain white background. The final picture introduces a child, sleeping, and gathers several of the aforementioned items. This paper-over-board book succeeds in evoking the comfort of nighttime rituals and the familiar, solid presence of its necessary props. But although toddlers will recognize this catalogue of objects, some may wish for a story line. Ages 1-3. (Sept.)