This anthology of poems, selected around the themes of nighttime and bedtimes, is a perfect bedtime read-aloud companion. The 60 poems are divided into three categories: “Going to Sleep,” “Sweet Dreams,” and “In the Night.” Included are some familiar poems from well known authors, such as Langston Hughes and Sylvia Plath, as well as others less well known. Included also are a few from well known songs, such as “Twinkle, twinkle, little star,” and “Rock-a-bye Baby”. The selections range from the whimsical, to the humorous, to the serious and are thought provoking. One can marvel at the mystery of “The night will never stay, The night will still go by, Though with a million stars, You pin it to the sky”, by Eleanor Farjeon, and laugh with the narrator who proclaims “I’ve rubbed, I’ve scrubbed, I’ve pummelled. . .” in the poem “Bathtime,” by Judith Nicholls.
Children’s viewpoints and voices are well represented, as in the selection from Jo Ellen Bogart entitled “Bath” where she demands to know “Why can’t I go to bed dirty? What’s so special about being clean? I am dirty today. I’ll get dirty again. So why bother to wash in between?” Karas’ illustrations perfectly complement the poems, portraying children in the familiar rituals of nighttime activity, in the bathtub, jumping on beds, and gazing at nighttime skies. Done in gouache, acrylic, and pencil, mostly in subdued nighttime shades of brown and blue, they help create the aura of nighttime magic and capture the end-of-day mood. An excellent addition to most poetry collections.
Recommended by Linda Lucke, Librarian.