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Saturday, February 10, 2018

Sleepy Bird, written and illustrated by Jeremy Tankard. Scholastic. 2018. $19.99 ages 2 and up

"Fox was too sleepy to play.
So Bird went to find Beaver.
"It's bedtime, Bird, " said
"Bedtime is for babies,"
said Bird.
"How about I read you a
story?" said Beaver.
"How about you don't, "
said Bird."

We have seen when he's grumpy, hurt, and hungry! This time, he's supposed to be sleepy. That would be asking too much of the quarrelsome, often contrary Bird. He is lucky to have the friends he has. They have his back, not matter the complaint and do their best to show patience and understanding when he is undeniably inflexible.

This time, when everyone else is ready to hunker for a good night's rest, Bird is ready to play.

"His wings wanted to flap.
His legs wanted to run.        
All of him wanted to play."

Ready to party, he checks in first with Fox. Fox is cozy, and offers an alternative to the party idea. Bird will have none of it. Leaving Fox behind, he is off to see his friend Beaver. Beaver has great books to share before bed; Bird is interested in playing tag. On he goes to Squirrel's spot while Beaver stays behind reading. And, so it goes.

Bird visits all of his friends, who each offer a diversion meant to help him feel sleepy. None are anywhere close to what Bird has in mind. He storms off  in a huff, mad and sad. He is sure that he is not tired, or about to be. His friends are concerned with his sadness and tears. Together they provide consolation and a perfect bedtime routine.

Jeremy Tankard uses strong colors, black outlining his now familiar characters to keep them at the forefront for young readers. They are expressive, generous and willing to listen to Bird as he rants about their lack of cooperation. Bird is as obstreperous as he has ever been  ... and so much fun!

Parents, you have all been there. This is perfect fare for bedtime reading. Don't miss it!

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