cover image This & That

This & That

Mem Fox, illus. by Judy Horacek. Scholastic Press, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-338-03780-7

For times when a single bedtime story just isn’t enough, the duo behind Where Is the Green Sheep? and Good Night, Sleep Tight tease several at once in this chirpy, repetition-driven tale that hopscotches from one adventure to the next. “I’ll tell you a story of this,/ and I’ll tell you a story of that,” Fox begins. “I’ll tell you a story of cavernous caves/ and a chimp with a magic hat.” In Horacek’s accompanying scenes, watery washes of color and jittery black lines follow two mice—one large, one small—as they float down a river in a bright green box, past bat-filled caves and the magic-making chimpanzee, before tumbling over a waterfall. From there, the mice ride an elephant through a busy marketplace and steal away in a carriage to a palace where royals from around the world cavort. Fox knows how to structure a lively readaloud, and she builds gentle suspense between each bouncy stanza with a repeated “And then...” The cozy ending, sealed with a good night kiss, might be just enough to convince kids that it is indeed bedtime. Ages 3–5. (Jan.)