Children's Book Review by Susan Stephenson, www.thebookchook.com
Mem Fox, illustrated by Judy Horacek, and published by Scholastic Australia (2012).
Another perfect picture book from the creators of the best-selling Where Is the Green Sheep? Bonnie and Ben have a favourite babysitter whose much-loved nursery rhymes ensure a wonderful whimsical world before bedtime.
This children's picture book has all the ingredients needed to become a classic. It has a refrain kids will love to repeat: 'We love it, we love it!' said Bonnie and Ben. 'How does it go? Will you say it again?' It has loved rhymes children will delight in recognising and chanting. It has the most delightful illustrations. And it also has a wonderful male role model in Skinny Doug, a babysitter who knows exactly what children need to hear at bed time.
What makes the illustrations so delightful? They're simple and uncluttered, but with enough detail and movement to keep young eyes riveted. There's a slightly retro feel to them. Horacek has used a range of formats to make each page a surprise, and exactly suited to the rhyme it illustrates. And her horses are winners! (Check out her website for an explanation.)
Kids will love Good Night, Sleep Tight. Buy it if you love Mem Fox's books. Buy it even if you've been living in Outer Faroffia and have never heard of Fox, and the way she speaks to kids' hearts and minds. This is the sort of picture book kids will love to hear read aloud, and return to over and over again until they know it by heart. That's when they'll "read" Good Night, Sleep Tight to Mum, Dad, Grandma, the dog, and even Skinny Doug, the babysitter, setting their young feet firmly on the magical pathway to a love of reading.
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