Rosie the Dragon and Charlie Say Good Night (Lauren H. Kerstein)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Rosie the Dragon and Charlie Say Good Night, written by Lauren H. Kerstein, and illustrated by Nate Wragg, second in the duo’s series featuring the titular pair.

Charlie and his pet dragon Rosie are back, and ready for bedtime. Well, Charlie’s ready; Rosie would like a few extra minutes, please? In fact, mischievous Rosie seems determined to bend or break the rules at every turn of Charlie’s well-organized bedtime routine for her: she tries to sneak juice into her water bottle, overdoes it with the bath bubbles, and picks out footie pajamas for her and her beloved toy horse, Vern (despite Charlie’s attempts to explain that she will overheat… which she does). And just when Charlie thinks Rosie is down for the count, a scary thunderstorm starts up…

Very cute. The delightful dynamic of the particular and rambunctious Rosie, who causes the majority of the bedtime-related snafus, and the ever-patient and caring Charlie is absolutely charming, and paired nicely with the conversational dialogue and colorful, entertaining illustrations. Little readers will sympathize with Charlie’s attempts to usher Rosie through her routine – and in turn, may sympathize with their parents doing the same for them. But perhaps the most unexpectedly heartwarming quality of the book was how much JJ ADORED it; she has asked for several repeat readings, a rarity. Whether intentionally or not, Rosie displays characteristics of someone with ASD; she is nonverbal, requires very specific routines and comfort items, and is distressed by sensory overload (a too-hot set of pjs, a thunderstorm, etc). Yet Charlie treats her proclivities and preferences with patience and kindness, never losing his temper or scolding his scaly friend. It makes for a surprisingly rich and, at least from our perspective, layered tale of caring for friends who may be different needs. Great length, lovely book, and definitely Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by a representative of the author in exchange for an honest review.)

Good Night, Mr. Panda (Steve Antony)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Good Night, Mr. Panda by Steve Antony, a wonderful fourth entry to one of our favorite series.

The hilariously taciturn Mr. Panda is back – this time in adorable doughnut pajamas – with a lesson in proper bedtime routine etiquette. He notes, matter-of-factly, when his fellow animals have skipped a step: Skunk has missed his bath (which he claims to take only once a year), the sheep aren’t wearing pajamas, and stinky breath is a sure sign that Hippo hasn’t brushed her teeth. The perky lemur from the previous two books is happy to point out that he is minty fresh and squeaky clean! Only one more thing left to do before bedtime: say goodnight!

If you’ve read our previous reviews of this series, you know: I LOVE Mr. Panda. JJ LOVES Mr. Panda. The stone-faced bear in his wonderfully colorful outfits, set with a lively cast of characters against colorblock backgrounds, teaching manners and, in this case, good hygiene? Simply put, a winning mix. As always, the story features plenty of opportunities for fun voices when read aloud, and a hilarious twist ending that will have kids rolling. The length is great, and we adored it. Antony continues his stellar series with another delightful installment, and a perfect bedtime one at that. Baby Bookworm approved!

It Is Not Time For Sleeping (A Bedtime Story) (Lisa Graff)

Hello, friends! Today, we read It Is Not Time For Sleeping (A Bedtime Story), written by Lisa Graff and illustrated by Lauren Castillo, an adorably sweet story about a little boy counting down the steps of his bedtime routine.

Dinner is finished, and a little boy’s mother remarks that it has been a nice day. “It IS a nice day,” he replies, because he knows that it’s not yet time for sleeping. No, first there are dishes to wash, a bath to take, a story to read. And of course, he couldn’t possibly think of going to sleep without brushing his teeth or saying goodnight to his beloved dog Jasper. So when IS it time for sleeping? When he’s in his pajamas? No. When he’s all tucked in? Not yet. No, it’s not yet time to sleep until he gets one last thing: a hug and kiss from Mom and Dad. Then, at long last, the boy can rest his head and go to sleep.

This was a charming book that could easily become a favorite bedtime story. I love that the many steps of the boy’s bedtime routine are partly him trying to stall for time and partly the serious officiousness all small children seem to have about following the steps of a routine in order. It gives the story a great voice and a feeling of authenticity. The art is adorable, creating a quiet, soothing atmosphere perfect for lulling little readers to their own sleep. Pacing and length is perfect, and JJ and I both loved this one. A simple, lovely story about going to bed, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!