cover image The Boy Who Wouldn't Go to Bed

The Boy Who Wouldn't Go to Bed

Helen Cooper. Dial Books, $15.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8037-2253-8

It's bedtime, but British author/artist Cooper's (Little Monster Did It!) curly-haired young hero insists that he is going to stay up all night. Driving his toy car, he eludes his mother and speeds away to a world of make-believe, where everything in his home has become many times larger than life. He soon discovers that it's bedtime for his now-giant toys as well: even the little car eventually slows to a stop and goes to sleep. Finding himself ""awake and alone, with the sleeping world around him,"" the boy is retrieved by his mother, who hugs him and leads him home to bed. Cooper's gauzy watercolor illustrations are bathed in the glow of twilight and moonlight, and she exhibits a visual wit that keeps her pictures from lapsing into self-conscious prettiness (for example, on their way home, mother and son walk through a giant bathroom, complete with looming toilet). The text evokes the rhythms of a lullaby, gradually slowing in tempo until the boy falls asleep. Ideal for reading aloud right before the lights go out. Ages 3-7. (June)