cover image GOODNIGHT LULU


Paulette Bogan, . . Bloomsbury, $15.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-1-58234-803-2

After Momma Chicken tucks Lulu into bed and pecks her on the head ("gently of course"), the worried chick calls out, "What if a big, brown bear comes in while I am sleeping?" Momma reassures Lulu that she will "flap and cluck and scare it and chase it all the way back to the forest." Similar reassurances about tigers and alligators follow. Undercutting the sweetness and light is a hilarious visual subtext. Readers see two silent, wide-eyed pigs eavesdropping on Lulu's fearful musings and creeping ever closer to the security of the Momma-guarded bed. When the duo hides with comic ineptitude under Lulu's blanket—their pointy ears are a dead giveaway—the chick asks, "What if the pigs come in while I am sleeping?" Momma promises to "tickle them and squeeze them, and kiss them all over their faces"— and she does. Bogan (Spike) has a ball illustrating this barnyard crew. She wields ink and watercolors in lush reds, purples and blues, but her triumph is in the creatures' highly animated expressions. Momma's wings-on-hips annoyance and her single, angry eyebrow as she takes on a cowering tiger are not to be missed. The book's generous trim size mirrors Lulu's over-the-top fears and the larger-than-life, deliciously droll animals. Ages 3-7. (May)