Book: Bedtime in the Jungle
Author: John Butler
Age Range: 2-5
Bedtime in the Jungle is a bedtime story by John Butler, written to the tune of "Over in the Meadow" (as is Over at the Castle by Boni Ashburn). It's a soothing counting book that features different animal mothers snuggling up with their babies. Like this:
"It was bedtime in the jungle,
And the sun glowed no more.
A wolf nuzzled noses
With her babies four.
"Nestle," said their mother.
"We'll nestle," said the four.
And they nestled in their den, as the sun glowed no more.
Leopards snuggle, peahen's hush, crocodiles laze, and elephants dream. The text is rhythmic, and kids will be able to predict the rest of each page, as they sleepily practice counting.
Really, the text in Bedtime in the Jungle feels almost beside the point. The strength of this book is Butler's glowing, detailed illustrations. Each page spread features a different background color for the text, from dusky pink to sky blue. The animals are pictured against an ever-darkening sky.
Butler's animals are beautiful, realistic but painted with a soft, tender focus to them, perfect for a bedtime book. My favorite individual animal is the baby rhino, whose very eyes look sleepy, but whose posture remains alert. The mother crocodile is a bit scary, but the babies are small and cute. The yellow ducklings positively shine.
The next to last page shows ten baby elephants, with their mothers, on an extra-wide fold-out. The babies are various states of sleepiness, against a dusky, starry sky. I'm half tempted to pull this page spread right out of the book, and put it on my wall, it's so lovely. But instead, I'll just add Bedtime in the Jungle to our bedtime reading shelf, so that I can visit those elephants over and over again.
Bedtime in the Jungle would be a delightful addition to anyone's bedtime reading shelf. Recommended for sleepy preschoolers and their parents.
Publisher: Peachtree (@PeachtreePub)
Publication Date: September 1, 2009
Source of Book: Review copy from the publisher
© 2011 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved.