Bedtime for Sweet Creatures
Author: Nikki Grimes; Illustrator: Elizabeth Zunon
Published January 1, 2020 by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Goodreads Summary: It’s bedtime. But Mommy’s little one is not sleepy.
He growls like a bear, he questions like an owl, he tosses his mane like a lion. He hunts for water like a sly wolf, and hides like a snake.
Mommy needs to wrangle her sweet creature in bed so that the whole family can sleep. From tigers to squirrels to snakes, the little boy dodges around his bedtime, until he is tired enough to finally sleep. His imaginative animal friends weave their way through the illustrations, eventually joining him in curling up for the night.
My Review: The rhythm of this book is palpable. As a mother of three children six and under, I identified whole-heartedly with the mother of this book. She just wants her child to go to bed. As the child attempts sleep, he morphs into different animals (a lion, a tiger, an owl!). The book displays bedtime in ways that parents will identify with. Teachers will love using this book to teach metaphor and sound in story.
My three-year-old’s review: “I like the squirrel and the koala a lot! I liked all of the aminals. [sic]”
My six-year-old’s review: “I like how his mom and his dad are trying to get him to sleep at night. I like how it is night-time in the book and the colors of the book make it feel like it is night-time.”
Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: The ways in which Grimes uses sound and metaphor is very intriguing and quite teachable. I spent a significant amount of time thinking about the almost-anthropomorphism of the text. The animals are given human characteristics of the child. But the child is actually given animal characteristics. This is zoomorphism, right? I would love to have this kind of study and debate with students. So cool!
Discussion Questions: What animals does the child act like? How does the author choose qualities of the child to connect them with animals?; Choose another animal not within the book. How might the child act like this animal at bedtime, too?