________________ CM . . . . Volume XII Number 11 . . . . February 3, 2006


Every Single Night.

Dominique Demers. Illustrated by Nicolas Debon. Translated by Sarah Quinn.
Toronto, ON: Groundwood Books/House of Anansi Press, 2006.
32 pp., cloth, $18.95.
ISBN 0-88899-699-3.

Preschool-grade 1 / Ages 3-6.

Review by Ellie Contursi.

**** /4

Reviewed from prepublication copy.



Simon Yawns.

He puts on his pajamas, brushes his hair and drinks a big glass of milk. After he washes up from head to toe and carefully brushes his teeth, he climbs up the stairs. Simon sets about getting his bed ready. So he fluffs up his pillow and folds back the blankets before he climbs in, carefully.

Then and only then, Simon shouts out,

It's always the same, every single night.


Every Single Night is the story of Simon's bedtime routine, and what a lovely routine it is!

     Every night, Simon begins his meticulous preparations for sleep. He dons his pajamas, drinks a glass of milk, brushes his teeth and washes his body ‘from head to toe.' Next comes the preparing of his bed. The pillow is fluffed; the blanket is folded down, and finally Simon climbs into bed. It is time to call for his dad. As Dad enters, so begins the process of putting the whole world to sleep. Simon, himself, cannot sleep a wink without this special routine.

internal art

     Dad begins with Africa. As the lions roar, elephants, zebras and other African animals race off to their respective places of sleep. Dad pulls the covers up a bit more. Next is the Caribbean Sea. Whales, sea horses, dolphins and more perform one last water ballet as they make their way to the depths of the sea for slumber. Again, Dad moves the blanket up a little more. Simon listens as his dad puts to sleep the polar lands, with their caribou and seals, and the sky above the Americas with its Canadian geese, eagles and loons. Finally the world is asleep, and Simon can do the same. Or can he? Simon reminds his dad that he's forgotten one important place, and that is the land of fairies, dragons and magical creatures. Once Dad puts this land to sleep, the blanket is pulled up to Simon's ears, the perfect length to snuggle down and sleep. As Simon visualizes this last wonderful place in the world, he falls asleep with ease. The story ends with Dad’s realizing it is time for him to go to bed as well.

      Every Single Night is truly an enjoyable picture book. The connection between father and son is strong and endearing. It gives the reader a sense of comfort and warmth as Dad takes the time to follow the same bedtime routine with Simon each night. Parents can appreciate that children often postpone bedtime as much as possible, and so bedtime routines can become complicated. This routine can only make the reader smile.

     The illustrations reflect the nighttime with dark purple, brown and auburn hues, making each page the perfect evening setting. When the author describes the different areas of the world, the illustrations cover each page entirely, and the text appears within the coloured setting. This has a great impact on the feelings the illustrations create. The reader feels calmness, serenity, peace. One can imagine the brush strokes that the illustrator took in making these pictures as they resemble a painted canvas.

     This picture book is a wonderful way to end an evening and slip off to sleep!

Highly Recommended.

Ellie Contursi is a librarian at the public library in London, ON.


To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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