STARRED REVIEW
October 2015

A charming bedtime book

By Patrick McDonnell

In this irresistible story, readers fall for Clement the rabbit, Jean the elephant and Alan Alexander the bear, the three tiny friends of a girl named Maggie.

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In this irresistible story, readers fall for Clement the rabbit, Jean the elephant and Alan Alexander the bear, the three tiny friends of a girl named Maggie.

“The sun set, the moon rose,” and Maggie helps Clement get ready for bed. Then, surprise: It’s a pajama party when Jean and Alan show up in PJs. (Alan’s are a bit too big, and in one very funny spread, when the three creatures leap for joy on Maggie’s bed, Alan’s pajama bottoms don’t leap with him.)

Who wants to slip under the covers when there are chicken dances to do, funny faces to make, hide-and-seek to play, balloons to bounce, yoga to practice, snacks to eat and wishes to be made upon shooting stars? The joy and heart of dearing play of these three friends. (Maggie often seems to be on the sidelines, as if she’s the parental presence.) Either the girl’s imaginative revelry with her stuffed animals is a potent thing, or she lives in a world where pajama-clad, pint-sized creatures visit to play with her each night. No matter. The play’s the thing.

Nearly everything about Thank You and Good Night is comfy and intimate, including its smaller size. The soft color palette is especially inviting; the humor is sweetly goofy; and the compositions are uncluttered. Look closely at the window where the three creatures play with balloons: It seems to be a tribute to the ultimate bedtime book, Margaret Wise Brown’s Goodnight Moon, as it looks almost precisely like the window in the iconic great green room. There are other nods to beloved children’s books throughout this story. (Could Maggie even be a tribute to Brown herself?) The snug ending, an ode to gratitude and the joy of children, is perfection.

Call it a night with this one, the year’s most captivating bedtime book.

 

Julie Danielson features authors and illustrators at Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast, a children’s literature blog.

This article was originally published in the October 2015 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

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Thank You and Good Night

Thank You and Good Night

By Patrick McDonnell
Little, Brown
ISBN 9780316338011

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