Amy Hest is the author of many books, including WHEN JESSIE CAME
ACROSS THE SEA, winner of the Christopher Medal and illustrated by
P. J. Lynch, and IN THE RAIN WITH BABY DUCK, winner of the BOSTON
GLOBE - HORN BOOK Award and illustrated by Jill Barton. She says
that she was inspired by her own son, Sam. "When Sam was small he
knew countless ways to keep me in his room at bedtime," she
Anita Jeram is the illustrator of the best-selling GUESS HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU by Sam McBratney. She is also the author-illustrator of BUNNY, MY HONEY and ALL TOGETHER NOW. About KISS GOOD NIGHT, she says it reminds her of when "the children and I are comfortable and safe, tucked up snug in bed, listening to the rain outside the window and everything around seems to glow with the warmth."
Hest (When Jessie Came Across the Sea) pays tribute to reassuring bedtime rituals that assuage a toddler's fears even on a "dark and stormy night." Sam the bear cub will not go to sleep. "I'm waiting," he keeps telling Mrs. Bear, even though she's checked off everything on the bedtime list: book, blanket, friends (his stuffed toys) and milk. Then it dawns on Sam's mom that she's forgotten the kiss good night. Sam manages to coax a total of 10 goodnight kisses from Mom. With understated repetition and lyricism, Hest establishes the coziness of the nighttime interplay as well as the menacing sounds of the storm from inside Sam's bedroom: "Splat! on the roof. Splat! Splat! on the windows. The wind blew. Whoo, whoooo." Jeram moves from the light palette and breezy artwork in Guess How Much I Love You to thickly applied acrylic paintings. Her radiantly rendered ochre and rust shades translate easily from the autumn storm outside to the sturdy furniture and heavy wool blankets inside. While her characters' expressions seldom change, she uses their contrasting physical presence to great effect. The hulking Mrs. Bear is a literal bulwark of maternal devotion, while Sam's roly-poly poses comically communicate his coy devotion. Ages 2-up. (Aug.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
PreS-K-Hest begins this sweet bedtime tale with, "It was a dark and stormy night on Plum Street" and Jeram's luminous folk paintings show a small, worried bear peering out the window at the wind-hurled leaves. The scene switches to inside his bedroom, golden in the lamplight, where Mrs. Bear is trying to put her son to sleep. The repetitive phrasing in each sequence, bound to delight young ones, is: "`Ready now, Sam?' `Oh, no,' said Sam. `I'm waiting.'" Mrs. Bear wracks her brain for every detail of their bedtime routine. They read their favorite book. They arrange the youngster's stuffed animals and drink some warm milk, while the wind blows, "Whoo, whoooo." Finally Mrs. Bear thinks to ask, "what did I forget?" "You know," says Sam. And, after a moment's thought, she does-as will every child who has absorbed the title of the book. This is an enchanting little story, with homey illustrations that add to its appeal. It will be particularly reassuring to read aloud on those dark and stormy nights.-Susan Weitz, Tompkins County Public Library, Ithaca, NY Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
This title...captures universal experience with humor, warmth, and
authenticity..and the simple, repetitive text winds down at just
the right pace for a sleepy audience.
The palette of colors is a strong part of the reassuring feeling here...Mother Bear and Sam play out the conventional dance of ritualized bedtime ballets, and her patient largeness as she bends to deliver yet another kiss is a dream of parental love.
With understated repetition and lyricism, Hest establishes the coziness of the nighttime interplay as well as the menacing sounds of the storm from inside Sam's bedroom...The hulking Mrs. Bear is a literal bulwark of maternal devotion, while Sam's roly-poly poses comically communicate his coy devotion.
This is an enchanting little story, with homey illustrations that add to its appeal. It will be particularly reassuring to read aloud on those dark and stormy nights.
-School Library Journal, starred review