Review of Night Wishes

Night Wishes
selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins; illus. by Jen Corace
Preschool, Primary    Eerdmans    40 pp.    g
9/20    978-0-8028-5496-4    $18.99

The late Lee Bennett Hopkins gathered these fourteen poems, written by such prominent children’s poets as Joyce ­Sidman, Nikki Grimes, and Eileen Spinelli, for this picture book of dreamy, comforting images of nighttime and sleep. The volume begins and ends with a poem by Rebecca Kai Dotlich: first “Bed,” which invites children to “Climb in”; and then “Bed Again,” inviting them to “Climb out” and “Grab your breakfast, / your curiosity, / your wonder— / and go.” Illustrator Corace takes the opening spread to show a brown-skinned child surrounded by the motifs that will resurface in subsequent poems, including the teddy bear found in Hopkins’s own: “I’m here for you / to snuggle into / as you / squeeze me tight.” The poems flow smoothly from one to the next; the illustrations also have a linear progression in that they skillfully incorporate related elements: stars in one image, stars and an angel in the following illustration, and then a starry window with the child in bed and a picture of an angel above. Children will enjoy finding the repeating motifs and appreciate the soothing, ­snuggly poetry.

From the November/December 2020 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Susan Dove Lempke
Susan Dove Lempke
Susan Dove Lempke is a Horn Book reviewer and director of the Niles Public Library District in Illinois.

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