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Monday, January 18, 2016

Thank You and Good Night, written and illustrated by Patrick McDonnell. Little Brown and Company, Hachette. 2015. $17.99 ages 2 and up

"They bounced the balloon about,
practiced yoga,
and a had a little something
good to eat.


They studied the night sky,
saw a shooting star,
and made a wish."

For those of you who love children's literature, you are going to be very impressed and heartened to recognize the three characters in Patrick McDonnell's newest offering. Clement is a rabbit, Jean is an elephant and Alan Alexander is a bear. So lovely! Maggie is their host for the evening.

Two make their entrance dressed in perfect pajamas and ready for a nighttime full of fun. Clement and Maggie happily welcome them. The earliest part of their night is spent doing those things that make a party: games, dancing, a nighttime lullaby from a nearby bird, even jumping on the bed. Clement's human girl Maggie is there to serve them a special treat, one that is just right for each. Then, it's time to settle in for the sleeping part of the sleepover. A story to settle them, and a thoughtful question from Maggie brings the peace needed to allow for much needed rest.

"Maggie read them their favorite bedtime stories -

stories about a majestic elephant,
a brave bear,
and a quiet bunny ...
Stories that bring sweet dreams."

The illustrations, done in pen and ink and watercolor, provide the gentlest of settings for Clement's visitors. The spreads attract constant attention. They are sure to have little ones talking as they listen to a bedtime story that will make them feel all the comfort and joy to be found in a long night's sleep. They will delight in the expression-filled faces as the animals move from one activity to the next, all the while showing that the importance of being together is the best thing of all!

Small enough for little hands to hold on their own, dreamy in its presentation, and offering a quiet, lovely tone for the end of the day, this book is sure to become a bedtime favorite.


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