cover image Night Night, Cuddly Bear

Night Night, Cuddly Bear

Martin Waddell. Candlewick Press (MA), $14.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-7636-1195-8

""It was bedtime and Joe started playing his Cuddly Bear game,"" begins Waddell's (Can't You Sleep, Little Bear?) latest take on comforting nighttime rituals. As Joe, accompanied by his mother, asks his father and two older siblings if they've seen his favorite toy, each suggests a possible adventure for Cuddly Bear. The ensuing spreads combine an image of an interactive game between Joe and a member of his family alongside panel vignettes of the bear's purported travels. For instance, for brother Paul's suggestion that Cuddly Bear is swinging at the ""funfair,"" he swings Joe in the air. Finally, the youngster tells his mother to ask him Cuddly Bear's whereabouts; in Joe's rendition, Cuddly Bear is upstairs brushing his teeth and readying himself for bed. The cartoonish panels that convey the stuffed fellow's preparations are among Dale's (When the Teddy Bears Came) best. This imaginative take on the goodnight rounds could easily inspire a new family tradition. Ages 3-up. (Sept.)