Scritch Scratch Scraww Plop!
There's no shortage of books about bedtime fears, but Lindgren Award–winner Crowther (Jack and Jim) brings a distinctive, quirky tenderness to this one. Jeremy, a frog who is frightened of the dark, lives in a house with several inches of water on the floor; readers will watch with delight as he and his parents slosh cheerfully through it. Jeremy's parents do not scorn his fears. In fact, they're endlessly patient as they get Jeremy ready for bed and tuck him in: "All right, my little green bundle," his mother murmurs. Alone in the dark, though, Jeremy hears a noise ("scritch scratch scraww plop") and imagines the worst. He crawls into his parents' bed, "But poor Dad can't fall asleep next to the wriggly Jeremy. Exhausted, he... gets into Jeremy's little bed, where he falls right to sleep. But a ‘scritch scratch scraww plop' startles him awake." It's a delicious moment—the parent awakened by the same noise that scared the child. The search for its source produces an affectionate resolution, and Crowther's expressive artwork will leave readers eager for more. Ages 4–8. (Sept.)