Book: The Little Girl Who Didn't Want to Go to Bed
Author: David Engledow
Age Range: 4-8
The Little Girl Who Didn't Want to Go to Bed is the first picture book by photographer David Engledow. The story itself is pretty straightforward picture book fare: little girl doesn't want to go to sleep because she feels like she is missing something. She ends up staying up all night, and is so tired the next day that she misses the real fun that she could have had. And so she decides that she will sleep at night after all.
What makes the book much more than that storyline, however, are Engledow's over-the-top illustrations, digitally manipulated photographs full of kid- and parent-friendly details. These are juxtaposed against text that is generally much more ordinary. For example:
"Every night, she'd make up excuse after excuse...
"Just one more story. PLEEEEEEEEEASE?""
We see a picture of the little girl perched atop a teetering stack of picture books, surrounded by other stacks, and clutching a copy of "War and Peace." Small alphabet blocks spell out "ONE MORE STORY."
The blocks, as well as the girl's pink stuffed animal (in matching pajamas to her own) are in many of the illustrations, with the blocks spelling out key phrases. Then there are the parents.
"Even after the lights were out, the little girl would lie awake imagining all the fun that must have been going on without her."
Here we see the parents, dressed up in fancy clothes, mom wearing a pink and white tiara, doing fun things like piñata, jigsaw puzzles, and bobbing for apples. At the very end of the book, when the girl is finally asleep in her own bed, there's a tiny hint that maybe that is the sort of thing the parents do.
But my favorite illustration is one where the girl sneaks out of her room at night and hides in the kitchen trash, banana peel on her head, apple in her mouth. The ones where she is tired and does things like put her arms through her pants are also pretty cute.
My seven year old thought that this book was hilarious. As for me, I thought at first that it would be a bit too gimmicky for me. But I have to say that The Little Girl Who Didn't Want to Go to Bed won me over through a combination of entertaining plot and humorous details. This would make a fun baby shower gift, in that it speaks as much to parents as to kids. It's definitely worth a look. Recommended.
Publisher: HarperCollins (@HarperChildrens)
Publication Date: October 17, 2017
Source of Book: Review copy from the publisher
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