cover image Goodnight Everyone

Goodnight Everyone

Chris Haughton. Candlewick, $15.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7636-9079-3

Haughton (Shh! We Have a Plan) sets aside his characteristically loopy humor in order to lull young children to sleep. Even the colors are soft-pedaled. As a palette of incandescent colors fades from hot vermilion to deep indigo, a series of graduated pages describes, from small to large, the growing drowsiness in the forest as night falls: “The mice are sleepy... the hares are sleepy... the deer are sleepy.” Even Great Big Bear stretches and yawns. Only Little Bear resists: “Well, I’m not sleepy,” he declares. But the rest of the forest creatures are too tired to play with him, and as the pages grow ever darker, into magenta and violet, Little Bear starts yawning and stretching, too. Despite their stripped-down, angular construction, Great Big Bear and Little Bear convey a sense of furry realness—especially when Little Bear gets “a great big goodnight kiss” from Great Big Bear, a massive, comforting presence. Children listening to Haughton’s story might not fall asleep, but they’ll have to admit that it’s getting to be about that time. Ages 2–5. (Dec.)