cover image Forty Winks: A Bedtime Adventure

Forty Winks: A Bedtime Adventure

Kelly DiPucchio, illus. by Lita Judge. Abrams, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4197-4552-2

For the Winks, a family of 40 mice—two parents and 38 kids, each one named by DiPucchio (Not Yeti)—bedtime is adorably unwieldy. Their routine, conveyed in rollicking verse, doesn’t vary: “The loud, hungry pack was served up a snack/ of cider and crumb cakes and cheese,” before every mouse gets a scrub, dons pajamas, and brushes their teeth. Finally, “they were each read a book (what a long time that took!)” by the big stone fireplace—in one of Judge’s (The Wisdom of Trees) more inviting pencil and watercolor scenes, mice cover every inch of the floor and furniture, hanging on Mama’s every word. Finally, the mouselings are corralled and tucked into a fanciful panoply of beds, including a circus tent bed as well as airplane and balloon beds suspended from the ceiling. Do the grown-ups lose their temper when one thirsty little child sets off a 38-mouse run to the sink? Papa does say “Oh dear!” but the two adults are otherwise the very picture of parental equanimity. At book’s end, readers are invited to name all the little mice—but if they can’t recall who is who, it’s no matter; the book’s plentiful pleasure comes from being in the presence of a wonderfully rendered family that lives and loves large. Ages 4–8. Author’s agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Oct.)