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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

AGAIN! Written and illustrated by Emily Gravett. Macmillan, 2011. $19.99 ages 3 and up

"At night-time when everyone
else is asleep,
He noisily prowls through the
tower, and leaps
Down to the bridge to be
nasty and sly,
And torment the trolls (who
by nature are shy)."

If you are a parent and you read to your children every night at bedtime, this is one of those books that you are sure to read on numerous nights. Not unlike Goodnight Moon and Green Eggs and Ham at our house, it will be a tiring enterprise but so rewarding as you watch the rapt attention paid to its words and listen to the soft sighs of delight as it once again comes to an end.

Again! is a perfect bedtime book. It's fun, and entertaining and it offers up some humor. Put it in your nightly pile and it is sure to show up often. As is usual with Emily Gravett's work, the art is bright and always worthy of attention. It portrays a common experience in many reading households, and would be a perfect book for a baby shower, or that baby's arrival. Then, the new parents can await the same fate in their own houses.

Cedric is the young and avid listener to his mother's soothing bedtime voice...and he almost always wants a repeat performance. She is very accommodating and patient with her young son. As she reads the tale repeatedly she attempts to shorten it and encourage her son to take to his bed. The hints are pretty obvious but Cedric is having none of it.

The more demanding he becomes, the more exhausted his mom. Finally, she drifts off and does not appear to hear his loud, lamenting cries for another go. Not to be thwarted, he keeps shouting AGAIN! until he steams himself to fire-breathing status...with its story-ending result.

Great imagination and a logical, if surprising, result to the constant and loud demands for further reading in a dragon household. I love the greens and reds that she chooses for her palette...perfect! Of course, Cedric begins in the calm cool greens of bedtime slumber and works himself up to the fiery reds of disillusionment and frustration.  If you don't have Emily Gravett books on your bookshelves, start here!

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