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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Max and Milo Go to Sleep, by Heather & Ethan Long. Aladdin, Simon & Schuster, 2013. $17.99 ages 3 and up

"You do this EVERY NIGHT!
You never really try to go to sleep.
You can never find your books.
You're always thirsty.
Do you need to build a silly
contraption for EVERYTHING?!?
And Milo, take those goofy
pajamas off your head!!!"

No two brothers are more different than Max and Milo when it comes to bedtime. Max is tucked neatly into bed, reading material bookmarked and resting atop his bedside table, lights out and eyes closed. Milo, on the other hand, is constructing and flying paper airplanes, bedspread littered with colored papers, books stuffed on the floor under that bed, night table drawer open and lava lamp bubbling, wide awake and talking.

For Milo, who appears to be trying to go to sleep, sheep counting just doesn't cut it. Soon, he's calling to his brother concerning his dilemma. Max tries a helpful suggestion. Milo likes the advice. But, reading a book is an ordeal as well. Each of the books is  hurled aside with quick rejections...'read that one...too long...too scary'. You see what I mean? His favorite turns up, and he is content. But, the lamp is broken. Each new problem is met with helpful concern from Max. And each solution leads to another dilemma. What's a brother beaver to do?

When he can't stand the noise, the mess, the constant carping, Max has had it! Suggesting that Milo be still for a change, he lets loose a rant about every other night that is exactly the same. By the end of it, Milo is fast asleep and Max is in dire straits. 

The cartoon telling of this too-familiar tale will entertain young listeners as they stretch to see each and every detail and read all short speech bubbles. The colors are bright, the outlines black and the backgrounds conducive to slumber.  Ah, to have a sibling to laugh with, and to lean on for helpful advice. Who doesn't want that?

This is Heather Long's first book and just one of many for her talented husband Ethan. Their sons Milo and Max may have been the impetus for their storytelling. Has anything like this happened in your house? I trust that we will hear more about these the adventures with siblings ever end?

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