cover image Bedtime for Mommy

Bedtime for Mommy

Amy Krouse Rosenthal, , illus. by LeUyen Pham. . Bloomsbury, $16.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-1-59990-341-5

It takes a loving but firm child to get a recalcitrant Mommy to bed—at least, that's how the little heroine of this tables-turned tale sees it. Mommy pulls out every trick in the book—including asking to be read two bedtime books instead of one (in one of several jokes aimed at adults, the evening's text is Anna Karenina ). But the little girl never loses her voice of knowing authority. “Did you brush your teeth?” writes Rosenthal (Duck! Rabbit! ). “A nice long time?” The always terrific Pham (Freckleface Strawberry ) strikes just the right tone with her domestic satire (Mommy's highly physical critiques of the wardrobe choices for the next day have clearly been drawn from life). In fact, it's that very physicality—seeing an adult behaving in such recognizably childish ways (dancing with glee when the bath toys arrive) while the small girl affects a maternal persona (delivering an exhausted “Phew! ” when all is said and done)—that is most likely to strike a chord with kids. But as clever as the book is, there isn't much to invite repeated readings. Ages 3–5. (Apr.)