HMH Books for Young Readers (September 4, 2012)
Soft and warm, sweet and soothing, the stories and poems in this impressive, silver-jacketed anthology—complete with one hour of calming classical music on CD and for download—are just right for bedtime.
You’ll find eight complete picture books: Five Little Monkeys Reading in Bed (Eileen Christelow), The Napping House (Don Wood/Audrey Wood), Bedtime Bunnies (Wendy Watson), Tell Me SomethingHappy Before I Go to Sleep (Joyce Dunbar/Debi Gliori), The Goodnight Train (June Sobel/Laura Huliska-Beith), The Quiet Book (Deborah Underwood/Renata Liwska), Gideon (Olivier Dunrea), and No Sleep for the Sheep (Karen Beaumont/Jackie Urbanovic).
And eight illustrated poems: Joyce Sidman’s “Welcome to the Night,” the Curious George “My Curious Dreamer,” Maxine Kumin’s “Alligator,” Calef Brown’s “Young Moth,” Kristine O’Connell George’s “Lullaby,” the traditional hawaiian lullaby “I Hold Thee My Baby,” Dana Jensen’s “The Stars Make Wishes,” and Bob Raczka’s “With the Ember End.”
School Library Journal
This anthology includes eight picture books, eight poems, and a 60-minute CD of “comforting” classical music (also available for download). The selection of stories is strong, kicking off with Audrey Wood’s The Napping House (1984), then moving to more recent titles. Most are aimed at toddlers and preschoolers, such as Olivier Dunrea’s Gideon (2012) and Wendy Watson’s Bedtime Bunnies (2010). For the most part, the poetry is stellar, highlighting works by Joyce Sidman, Calef Brown, Bob Raczka, and Maxine Kumin, each beautifully illustrated. Only one (a Curious George poem written years after H. A. Rey’s death) misses the mark. Likewise, most of the bedtime stories are well chosen, such as Deborah Underwood’s The Quiet Book (2010) and Karen Beaumont’s No Sleep for the Sheep (2011). Eileen Christelow’s Five Little Monkeys Reading in Bed (2011), June Sobel’s The Goodnight Train (2006), and Joyce Dunbar’s comparatively weak Tell Me Something Happy Before I Go to Sleep (1998, all Houghton Harcourt) round out the collection. An excellent choice for parents, this is most appealing as a gift book. Libraries with room on their shelves may also wish to add it to their collection.