Good Night, Sleep Tight


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About the Author

Mem Fox is Australia's most highly regarded picture-book author. Her first book, Possum Magic, is the best selling children's book ever in Australia, with sales of over four million. Mem has written over 35 picture books for children. Judy Horacek is an Australian children's book creator cartoonist, artist, and writer.


This is one of those sneaky stories that starts out slight and unsurprising but is over far too soon. Fox combines the power of repetition with a lead character-a cool babysitter named Skinny Doug-who acts as a Scheherazade of nursery rhymes. His two charges immediately imagine themselves as players or spectators in the familiar rhymes: sitting in a yellow roadster (with Skinny Doug in the driver's seat), they watch the little piggy run down a hill saying, "Wee, wee, wee, wee," all the way home. Both enthralled and sensing a way to delay bedtime, the kids demand repeat performances (" 'We love it! We love it!' said Bonnie and Ben./ 'How does it go? Will you say it again?' "), only to discover that Skinny Doug always has a new tale up his striped sleeve. Horacek, Fox's collaborator on the Where Is the Green Sheep?, has again found a text ideal for her naif watercolor and ink cartoons. The pictures' visual directness and goofy playfulness capture the spirit of the timeless rhymes and the enviable relationship between the lanky storyteller and his adoring audience. Ages 3-5. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

PreS-Gr 1-Skinny Doug is a babysitter with the heart of a poet. Bonnie and Ben are reluctant to go to bed. When Doug tucks them in, he recites the old saying, "Good night, sleep tight./Hope the fleas don't bite!/If they do,/squeeze 'em tight/and they won't bite/another night!" The children love it and ask him to repeat it. Doug says, "I will tell you another/I heard from my mother." He offers up another treasure ("It's raining, it's pouring."), and the children beg to hear it again. On it goes, and over the course of the book, the excited siblings get to hear some wonderful old ditties and nursery rhymes. In the cleverest of ways, Fox has embedded a handful of childhood nonsense verses that beg to be read and said aloud into a fun story about the bedtime ritual. The cartoon illustrations are just lighthearted enough to complement the silliness of the verses. This book will be a surefire hit with the younger crowd and offers the perfect excuse to bring out volumes such as Iona Opie's Humpty Dumpty and Other Rhymes (Walker, 2001) and My Very First Mother Goose (Candlewick, 1996), Alma Flor Ada's Pio Peep!: Traditional Spanish Nursery Rhymes (HarperCollins, 2003), and Jane Chapman's Sing a Song of Sixpence (Candlewick, 2004).-Joan Kindig, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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