cover image Max and Milo Go to Sleep!

Max and Milo Go to Sleep!

Heather Long, illus. by Ethan Long. S&S/Aladdin, $14.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4424-5143-8

Parents Heather and Ethan Long—she in her debut and he the creator of recent picture books including Soup for One and Pig Has a Plan—fictionalize the repartee between their real-life sons in this jittery bedtime story. Brightly lit comics panels, packed with voice-balloon dialogue and restless activity, present two young beavers in their PJs. Max, with his frown and heavy eyelids, looks exhausted, but Milo cannot settle down. The brothers could be twins, with their matching bedroom furniture, yet their personalities differ. To get the picture, readers need only compare Milo’s unkempt side of the bedroom, strewn with books and paper airplanes, to Max’s tidy space (kept separate by the page gutter), which is tastefully decorated with a soccer poster and diploma. High-energy Milo repeatedly wakes his drowsy brother and asks for help in getting to sleep, and sedate Max predictably ends up the one with insomnia at the conclusion. This classic odd-couple tale, built around the comedic interplay between Milo’s inability to focus and put-upon Max’s stability, is ripe for sequels. Ages 4–8. (Jan.)