Review of Bedtime for Bo

Bedtime for Bo Bedtime for Bo
by Kjersti Annesdatter Skomsvold; illus. by Mari Kanstad Johnsen; trans. from Norwegian by Kari Dickson
Preschool    Enchanted Lion    72 pp.    g
8/22    978-1-59270-374-6    $19.95

“Bedtime!” is a call that can elicit groans of dread from young children and caregivers alike. While Bo performs “tumblesaults on the sofa and sings as loud as he can,” his mother yawns in the background. When she beckons him for bed, he responds, “I’m already asleep!” A parrot, he argues, sleeps as he does—standing on one foot. On the next spread vivid pinks, blues, and yellows cascade away from a parrot standing just like Bo on the previous page. Playing along, his mother offers her little parrot something to eat. With encyclopedic knowledge of many animals’ sleeping habits, Bo’s mother slowly but surely edges her clever offspring closer to his bed: getting a snack of blueberries and porridge before hibernating like a bear; washing up, stretching his neck like a giraffe in front of the bathroom mirror. Finally, Bo snuggles beneath a mound of brightly colored stuffed animals like a “mob of meerkats,” and his mom lies, worn out, on the couch downstairs. Thin and energetic outlines delineate Bo and his mother from the many colorful creatures that surround them, creating a sense of before-bed chaos and blurring the lines between their home and the habitats they envision together. An imaginative, informative, and reassuring bedtime story; pair with Grimes and Zunon’s Bedtime for Sweet Creatures (rev. 1/20).

From the July/August 2022 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

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