Today I’m reviewing three picture books about night and going to bed!
Touch the Brightest Star by Christie Matheson
A companion to the popular and acclaimed Tap the Magic Tree! In this interactive bedtime story, touch, tap, blink, whisper, and more to make magic happen in the nighttime sky, from sunset to sunrise.
What happens while you’re sleeping? With lush, beautiful watercolors and cut-paper collage, Christie Matheson reveals the magic of the nighttime sky, using the same kinds of toddler-perfect interactive elements as her acclaimed Tap the Magic Tree. Wave good-bye to the sun, gently press the firefly, make a wish on a star, rub the owls on their heads, and . . . shhhh. No two readings of this book will be the same. That along with the gentle, soothing rhythm, makes Touch the Brightest Star a bedtime winner—no matter how many times you and your child read it.
I love Tap the Magic Tree, and Matheson taps into the same book magic in this story about the stars and animals that come out at night. I think the progression of the book is clearer in Tap the Magic Tree, as it follows the seasons, but Touch the Brightest Star does try to go from evening to deep night to morning, which is fun. The interactive elements are fun, and the art is lovely, of course.
It’s So Quiet: A Not-Quite-Going-to-Bed Book by Sherri Duskey Rinker and Tony Fucile (Illustrations)
A silly, noisy bedtime book that will have readers squealing, croaking, and laughing along before settling down for a quiet night’s sleep!
It’s time for bed, but one little mouse just can’t get to sleep—it’s TOO QUIET! However, the night is actually full of sounds, from the croak of the bullfrog to the howl of a coyote on a distant hill. As the rhythmic symphony of nighttime noises build in this rollicking read-aloud, the mouse starts to wonder whether he wouldn’t like a little MORE quiet.
It’s So Quiet is a charming book that highlights the sounds of night. Little Mouse starts thinking that the night is too quiet and he cannot possibly go to bed, until his mother tells him to listen. Readers get to ponder all the noises of the night, from nocturnal animals to the sounds one’s house makes to the sounds that other people make. This sounds relaxing, but the book repeats the sounds so the reader reads them louder and louder, making the book more exciting than one might actually think. Because of that, it probably won’t actually put young readers to bed, but it will probably amuse them!
The illustrations are cute, and I particularly liked looking at the factual expressions on Little Mouse.
Click, Clack, Good Night by Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin (Illustrations)
From Caldecott Honor–winning and New York Times bestselling duo Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin comes a hilarious tale about Duck who can’t, just can’t, fall asleep.
It’s bedtime on the farm. The cows, sheep, and chickens are all tucked in and snoozing away. Except for…Duck. So Farmer Brown sings him a song…reads him a book…turns on the white noise machine…and even debates the day’s top stories. But Duck just won’t tuck!
Can Farmer Brown stay awake long enough to see Duck off to dreamland, or is a good night’s sleep just a dream?
This reminded me a bit of It’s So Quiet, as Duck ends up hearing a lot of distracting night sounds when he tries to go to bed, but I ultimately didn’t enjoy it as much. It’s not as fun as a read-aloud and not as fun as Click, Clack, Moon either. It functions pretty solidly as a book about a character trying to get to sleep and encountering some obstacles until he finds just the trick, but it’s not a standout book by any means, and I think it’s primary appeal is that it features the same animals as the very popular Click, Clack, Moo.