cover image NIGHTY NIGHT!


Margaret Wild, , illus. by Kerry Argent. . Peachtree, $15.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-1-56145-246-0

Mischievous mix-ups rule in this fun-loving tale of barnyard babies who stave off the bedtime hour for as long as possible. To the consternation of their surprised parents, the ducklings, piglets, lambs and chicks initially swap beds. "You sassy scalawags! You're not my darling ducklings!" Father Duck admonishes the piglets he finds frolicking in his pond. Mother Hen scolds the lambs in her chicken coop, "You naughty scamps! You're not my chicky chicks!" Subsequent stalling tactics will be familiar to children and parents everywhere: "We want ten kisses each!" "Tell us one more story, please!" (Or, as the piglets squeal, "We have to wee, wee, wee!") Australian collaborators Wild and Argent (Miss Lily's Fabulous Pink Feather Boa) depict these antics through simple, rhythmic sentences and muted watercolors that lend a cozy, snuggle-up feel to the story. Argent's expressive paintings combine well with Wild's repetitive and sometimes alliterative phrasing: "Settle down." "Snuggle up." "Sleep tight." "Nighty night!" Young readers won't want these characters to say good night and will surely use this book to forestall their own imminent bedtimes. Ages 2-6. (Sept.)