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Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Picture Book Review: Bouncy Bouncy Bedtime

Author: David Bedford

Illustrator: Russell Julian
Release date: 6th June 2011
Genre: Picture Book
Target audience: 3+
UK Publisher: Egmont


Bouncy Bouncy Bedtime is a picture book to read at bedtime with young listeners.

Strangely, there is no main character in this book and that leads me to form the opinion that there is no story. The writing in this book is designed to encourage young listeners to imagine many different animals bouncing on a big bed in the sky. As I do not have children, I don’t know if this concept will work for creating a calm atmosphere to induce sleep and creative dreaming. I think the beginning of the book could do the exact opposite for very excitable children at bedtime. It describes bouncing on a bed for example which I can imagine children wanting to try this out. I also have an issue with the idea of a bed in the sky. I think we often explain to children loss and death in terms of a loved one being in “heaven” which they may translate as the sky. I have no formal evidence for this but I personally find this a flaw in the concept of this book. I wonder if this book is trying to do two things: be a story about bedtime and be a story about animal traits.  For example, rather than telling a story the content reflects an aspect of the different animals. For example, lions have big claws. For me this dual purpose was ineffectual.

The writing is of an appropriate length for the target age group and I really enjoyed the use of alliteration and repetition of sounds. However, I am not sure that this book really needed to rhyme. Perhaps there would have been more of a story if the author had opted not to use it?

On balance, the strength of this picture book is in the illustrations. The tones and curvy lines used to draw the landscape and animals in the book are perfect for bedtime. The animals are cute and yet not cartoonish. The colours are warm and to me feel like they fit around the cosy, calm of bedtime. As we moved through the double page spreads, the colours become more pastel and reflect the dusk we might see in a twilight sky. I think this was an effective device used by the illustrator.

Overall, I think Bouncy Bouncy Bedtime will appeal to parents and children who like to imagine different magical things before bedtime rather than those who like a great story.

Thank you to Egmont for sending the book to review.


Michele Helene (Verilion) said...

Ooh Becky, I'm so glad you are reviewing some picture books too. I spend HOURS choosing and then Ines goes and picks a SPOT book or something! Right where's my phone I need to type some in...

Michele Helene (Verilion) said...

Oh and PS Bouncing on the bed is exactly what my child does at bedtime!

daniellaprice30 said...

I miss having bedtime stories with my dad when I was a kid. Now, I wish there's something I could do with his sleep disorder called kleine levin syndrome because I feel pity for him.