Goodnight, Good Dog

illus. by Rebecca Malone. 32p. HMH. Nov. 2015. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780544286122.
PreS-Gr 1—Rich acrylics with thick black outlines create a fuzzy, sleepy atmosphere, but the young dog is not ready for bed yet. He knows the sounds and visual cues that portend bedtime, from the click of the lamp to the shadows in the corners, but he still longs for all the bouncing and chasing of the day. As he catalogs the day's memories ("He remembers words he knows—like come and good dog and goodnight"), readers and listeners will notice him slowing down even as he denies tiredness. The succinct text has a moving, lullaby quality and works beautifully with the expressive illustrations. The soft, opaque colors and rounded shapes darken with bedtime, making the house feel quiet and the beds (as well as the sweet yellow dog) look cuddly. Finally, the pup curls up in his own "moon-round" bed even though he is not sleepy ("Or, only a little. Just a little."), and a sequence of spot art depicts him getting comfortable. He decides to try to dream back the sun…and finally he does. This snuggly bedtime story shows the dog's girl going happily and quickly to sleep while he pads restlessly about the house, creating a potentially empowering contrast for human bedtime resisters.
VERDICT A dog lover's delight and a sweet bedtime read.—Julie Roach, Cambridge Public Library, MA
, Nov 01, 2015

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