cover image Don't Climb Out of the Window Tonight

Don't Climb Out of the Window Tonight

Richard McGilvray. Dial Books, $13.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8037-1373-4

Written by a seven-year-old, this endearingly goofy picture book reflects a playful illogic. A girl peers into the darkness, apparently in search of nighttime escape, but always finds a sensible reason for not venturing forth. ``Don't climb out of the window tonight,'' the text warns 11 times, as a multitude of magical beasts, scary monsters and creatures from outer space lurk just beyond the window. Alligators take a midnight swim in the pond, bushes are home to Frankenstein and comrades, and witches hide behind the wall. Although the language is often musical (``giants are jogging by'') and does not betray the author's age, the brief, deadpan text gradually loses its power to surprise. In contrast, Snow's dynamic artwork adds comic depth, with an unusual scratchboard-like look conjuring up a mythical night world. Beasties grin and leer in oversize absurdity, their rotund figures hinting of less-than-malevolent natures. Ages 3-7. (May)