________________ CM . . . . Volume XXIII Number 33 . . . . May 5, 2017


Bedtime 1 2 3.

Eric Walters. Illustrated by Josée Bisaillon.
Victoria, BC: Orca, September, 2017.
26 pp., board book, pdf & epub, $9.95 (bb).
ISBN 978-1-4598-1073-0 (bb), ISBN 978-1-4598-1074-7 (pdf), ISBN 978-1-4598-1075-4 (epub).

Preschool / Birth-age 3.

Review by Dave Jenkinson.

***½ /4

Reviewed from Advance Reading Copy.



When the sun
goes down


One moon rises

      In the board book Bedtime 1 2 3, night is falling over a farm, and, as the moon and [2 Two] stars rise in the sky, the young of the various birds and animals that live on the farm or reside in the fields and woods around it all bed down for the night. From "Three owlets rest[ing] high in the treetops" to "Ten ducklings tuck[ed] beneath a warm wing", youngsters encounter the offspring of a variety of domestic and wild animals. Walters' choice of words to describe each animal's sleeping posture is most appropriate. For example, fox cubs "snuggle" in a den and bunnies "huddle" in a burrow while kittens "nestle" and chicks "cuddle". Lest children listening to this book think its contents do not apply to them, Walter closes with:

It's time for all [emphasis mine] babies to sleep.

      Bisaillon's accompanying artwork for this text shows a human baby asleep, an animal mobile above her/him. A note on the copyright page explains that Bisaillon's "Artwork [was] created using cut paper, pastels, watercolor, pencils and digital collage." Even though this board book's title suggests its contents are intended to be shared at bedtime, Bedtime 1 2 3 is certainly not a lullaby as its contents invite active participation. As a learn-to-count book, overall it does its job well, but very young viewers of Bisaillon's illustrations may have some difficulty with counting the animal young connected to the higher numbers as Bisaillon overlaps the animals that are to be counted.

      Though I said Bedtime 1 2 3 was not, as such, a lullaby, it, nevertheless, certainly belongs in the family pile of board books for bedtime reading. Its participatory counting activity, balanced by its visually calming pastoral setting, might make it the perfect "first" book in a family's bedtime storybook routine.

Highly Recommended.

Dave Jenkinson, CM's editor, lives in Winnipeg, MB.

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

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
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The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.

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