cover image Friday Night Wrestlefest

Friday Night Wrestlefest

J.F. Fox, illus. by Micah Player. Roaring Brook, $17.99 (48p) ISBN 978-1-250-21240-5

Bedtime is often a contest of wills, so it’s not a huge leap to imagine it as a WWE-type event. Here, however, wrestling is not as much about the “battle to the bedtime” as it is an opportunity for a family to have some joyful, rough-and-tumble fun. In one corner is Dangerous Daddoo; in the other, kids Peanut Brother and Jellyfish. Daddoo shows some serious moves with the “squishy squid squeeze” and “seriously slobbery codfish kisses.” Appearing suddenly, Mama-Rama, in a classic wrestling move, double crosses her husband with a hug from behind (a “parent trap”). But no one is a match for the third child, Big Bald Baby, who hastens the battle royale’s end with a “diaper of doom.” For those reading aloud, debut author Fox—in mostly all-caps typography—provides plenty of opportunity to strut as a ringside commentator. Art by Player (My School, Your School, Our Schools) is loose and exuberant as ever, with sprawling, theatrical compositions and a bright-as-all-get-out palette. An energetic show all the way. Ages 3–6. [em]Author’s agent: Claire Easton, Painted Words. Illustrator’s agent: Lori Nowicki, Painted Words. (Feb.) [/em]