Even Monsters Need To Sleep

illus. by Chris Van Dusen. 32p. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray. Mar. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062366405.
PreS-Gr 1—In this rhyming metafictional bedtime story, a blue monster dad puts his pink pajama—clad monster child to sleep by reading a book about how other monsters get ready for bed. Bigfoot cuddles with a "wooby," aliens have pillow fights, a dragon "talks and talks," Nessie "gets a drink…then gets a drink…then gets a drink." Each monster's description is followed by a lulling refrain of "even [name of the monster] needs to sleep." Finally, Dad checks under the bed "for YOU" and the little monster falls asleep, cozy in bed…or so it seems! Van Dusen's vivacious gouache illustrations offer plenty of playful details that enliven Wheeler's sedate verse—dragon parents mournfully look at their talkative offspring, one of the Billy Goats Gruff reads a story to the boy troll, a giant clutches a tiny teddy bear. The story really begins on the wraparound cover that features the kid monster running from the dad monster, continues to the recto and verso where the little monster hides behind the curtains and then gets dragged off to bed, then finally shows the little monster tiptoeing away once again on the endpapers.
VERDICT A fun and relatable bedtime romp that will hopefully inspire kids to fall asleep and stay asleep, unlike its mischievous protagonist.

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