Written by Mem Fox, Illustrated by Lauren Stringer
Beach Lane Books, 2012
There was once a boy who loved bedtime.
The plot in a nutshell: A boy and his toys recap their day.
This boy loves getting his bedtime story and kiss, because when his mom leaves, he’s with his toys and can begin their nightly conversation. Greedy Goose goes first tonight. The boy hugs her tightly and asks her to tell him about her day. So Greedy Goose tells him what happened, who she was with, why it happened and how it all ended well. The same pattern follows with Blue Horse and Fat Rabbit and then the toys turn to the boy and ask about his day. He tells them all about what happened and how it all ended well, as he snuggles into his pillow with his toys.
Author Mem Fox is a master storyteller and you always know there’s something more to the story than what you see on the first read through. This is not a rhyming book, but there’s a lovely cadence to the way that each character tells their story and, like most of her books, it’s fun to read aloud. These characters are happy to be together and polite and attentive when each new character shares his day’s story, which is a nice behavior to see subtly modeled here. It’s also very positive, with bad things happening in the course of the day that still ends well for everyone.
The text itself doesn’t tell you anything specific about anyone’s day. That is all found in Lauren Stringer’s illustrations, done in acrylic paint. As each character shares his story, we see bits and pieces of it happening, leaving a wonderful space for you and your child to fill in the missing parts or come up with the whole picture. And the real beauty is at the end when we see that each character’s story is actually a small part of the boy’s day that they all shared together. It’s a great story for sharing the concept of putting smaller parts into a larger picture.
And what did we learn? What I take away from this book is that when routines are part of time spent with those you love, they can be anything but routine.