By Mem Fox & Judy Horacek
Scholastic, $16.99, 32 pages
Skinny Doug is an awesome babysitter. Bonnie and Ben love it when he is in charge for the evening. One Friday night, Skinny Doug tells the siblings nursery rhymes to help them go to sleep at bedtime. The duo is enchanted and after each rhyme, they have the same request: “We love it! We love it!” say Bonnie and Ben. “How does it go? Will you say it again?” And each time, their babysitter has the same reply: “Some other time. But I’ll tell you another I heard from my mother.” Skinny Doug introduces them to rhymes including “This little piggy when to market,” “Pat-a-cake,” “Star light, star bright,” and more. In author Mem Fox’s new children’s book Good Night, Sleep Tight, find out if Bonnie and Ben ever get to sleep and if Skinny Doug has to keep telling nursery rhymes until morning.
“Good night, sleep tight. Hope the fleas don’t bite! If they do, squeeze ‘em tight and they won’t bite another night!”
Judy Horacek’s colorful, cartoonish illustrations breathe new life into the classic rhymes. Readers will notice that the three main characters are incorporated into each nursery rhyme’s artwork. In “This little piggy went to market,” Skinny Doug drives Bonnie and Ben along a road as the fifth little piggy cries “wee wee wee” and runs towards home! In “Pat-a-cake,” Skinny Doug and the siblings are purchasing the cake marked with a “B” from the baker’s man!
This is a perfect book to read aloud together with young children, especially before bed. Kids will join in during the repetitive sections. Parents who have children with a habit of asking to hear the same stories or read the same books aloud every night will appreciate the strategy Skinny Doug uses to introduce Bonnie and Ben to new material. Create your own bedtime routine by reading Good Night, Sleep Tight. Once your child has committed the text to memory, add some different rhymes in the next time you read the book together.
Reviewed by Kathryn Franklin