cover image Sleepy Toes

Sleepy Toes

Kelli McNeil, illus. by Cori Doerrfeld. Cartwheel, $8.99 (26p) ISBN 978-1-338-03072-3

Toddlers with a variety of skin tones prepare for bed, one body part at a time. Using gentle repetition, newcomer McNeil moves from toes to tummies and so on: “Are your fingers getting sleepy?/ So very, very sleepy?/ All day long they feel along—/ touchy, tickly fingers.” Doerrfeld plays into the lulling mood in soft, smudgy portraits that show the kids using their bodies to the utmost during the day (to play) and at night (to tuck in pets and stuffed animals). The overall sense is that for these kids—and, by extension, readers—bedtime is just one more thing they’ve got completely under control. Up to age 3. Illustrator’s agent: Rachel Orr, Prospect Agency. (Feb.)