If ever there was a perfect bedtime book for the younger set, Time for Bed is it. Written by Mem Fox and illustrated by Jane Dyer, this board book is almost trance-inducing. Each page follows the same rhythm, and each page has gentle rhymes. Read aloud, it is the spoken form of a lullaby. I find it hard to stay awake while reading it — not because it’s boring, but because it is all too effective.
Each page has a parent animal peacefully calling its young to sleep. The illustrations are soft watercolors in nighttime hues, and each scene shows a mother or father in a nurturing fashion. Presumably, parents will be reading this book to their babies and toddlers in much the same way as the mama cat curls up with her kitten, making it all the more sweet.
The book is just right in length for the preschool and younger crowd. Just enough pages and scenes to keep young children interested, but not so many that they struggle to stay engaged. There are no characters to follow, just a familiar, repeating theme of doting parents and sleepy little ones.
Time for Bed makes an excellent baby shower or first birthday gift. It’s a great bedtime routine builder with its content, illustrations, and rhythm; and it’s simply a very lovely read.