cover image A Bedtime Story

A Bedtime Story

Mem Fox. Mondo Publishing, $13.95 (24pp) ISBN 978-1-57255-136-7

As lackluster as its title, Fox's (Time for Bed) slight story tells of a girl trying her hardest to get her parents' attention at bedtime. Because her stuffed bunny (coyly named Bed Rabbit) can't read, Polly wants Mom or Dad to read him a story. Deep in their own books, Mom and Dad ask their resolute daughter questions that will delay the inevitable: Has she brushed her teeth? Been to the bathroom? Put on her pajamas? The girl answers each query affirmatively, for herself as well as for Bed Rabbit. When this repetitious dialogue finally ends, Polly's mother reads aloud a book with ""scary pictures""; after Mom reads it a second time, Polly and bunny fall asleep and parents go back to their own books. Though more inventive than the text, Savadier's (Hotter Than a Hot Dog) pictures suffer from the same predictability, varying little from spread to spread. A smattering of cut-paper collage--seen in wispy lace curtains and the boldly hued spines of books on Polly's shelf--combine with airy watercolors and sketchy pencil drawings. Kids might wish these pictures were a little ""scary,"" too, or at least had some edge to offset the blandness of this outing. Ages 6-10. (Sept.)