MEM FOX is the author of many acclaimed books, including Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes, Possum Magic, Koala Lou, Time for Bed, and, for adults, Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to Our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever. She lives in Adelaide, Australia. Jane Dyer has illustrated many well-loved picture books, including Move Over, Rover!, a Geisel Honor Book written by Karen Beaumont; Oh My Baby, Little One, an ABA Pick of the Lists and Parent's Choice Recommended Book written by Kathi Appelt; and the bestselling classic Time for Bed by Mem Fox. She lives in Northampton, Massachusetts.
Filling each spread, Dyer's (illustrator of the Piggins books and of Baby Bear's Bedtime Book ) commanding yet gentle, large-scale watercolors are the key to the appeal of this bedtime lullaby. Fox ( Possum Magic ; Guess What? ) offers sweet but slim verse that bids good night to a selection of animals being cuddled and coddled by their mothers, all endearingly rendered at eye-level. The rhymed couplets have a pleasantly lilting rhythm, if an occasionally trite rhyme scheme: ``It's time for bed, little sheep, little sheep, / The whole wide world is going to sleep.'' After viewing the various animals nodding off, youngsters will take their bedtime cue from a cherubic toddler, whose blond head falls into a pillow covered with golden stars as mother offers a hug and the text concludes: ``The stars on high are shining bright-- / Sweet dreams, my darling, sleep well . . . / good night!'' Ages 2-6. (Sept.)
PreS-Gr 2-Charming illustrations and comfortable rhymes characterize this appealing bedtime book. A twilight mood is set by dusky endpapers sprinkled with twinkling yellow stars, and by a title page showing a mother reading to a child. Double-page spreads feature animal pairs, each with a parent settling its offspring down for the night. An orange tabby kitten receives a soothing bath, a sleepy blue bird is tucked into a warm nest, and a delicate fawn curls up against its mother. Each babe is lulled by a gently rhyming couplet beginning with the phrase, ``It's time for bed.'' Dyer's watercolor illustrations are dear. Large, clearly drawn animals are placed against backgrounds of vivid hues. A variety of landscapes keeps each scene looking fresh as a foal settles down in a moonlit meadow, a pair of fish blow bubbles in blue water, and two snakes curl up in overgrown grass. Working beautifully with the soothingly repetitive text, each painting conveys a warm feeling of safety and affection. A wonderful bedfellow for Ginsburg's Asleep, Asleep (Greenwillow, 1992).-Joy Fleishhacker, New York Public Library