Sunday 26 January 2014

Fright in the Night

Fright in the Night by Michelle McTiernan, illustrated by Emma Stuart (Little Steps Publishing)
PB RRP $17.95
ISBN – 9781921928864
Reviewed by Emma Cameron

‘I jumped into bed and lay down my head, and within no time at all there was a scratch at the door.’ So begins a tale told in rhyme, about a young boy who takes forever to get to sleep. Like many children, he finds it difficult to settle and must address a myriad of distractions. These distractions are, in fact, him remembering every single thing he needs in bed with him to keep him feeling comfortable and safe enough to fall asleep.

The first time he jumps out of bed he finds his teddy and he does snuggle back down, actually dozing off, but is woken … ‘during my nap I heard a tapa-tap-tap.’  Of course, this time it’s a different toy he’s forgotten. Each time he settles back down he believes he hears something and this sees him jump up out of bed once again, turning on the light to discover another of his toys.

Every time he remembers another special toy, the text repeats the refrain where the boy jumps out of bed ‘and turned on the light to see what it was that gave me a fright.’ He invites every toy into bed with him and when he finally drifts to sleep again he’s wedged in with his teddy, bumblebee, crocodile, giraffe and yellow duck. The story then ends with the boy waking and feeling that the night must have passed in no time at all as it is now daylight.

Bright illustrations show exactly what is happening as it is told in the story and the text, which is lovely and big, will mean early readers may well be able to read it themselves after having heard it a few times. Aimed at ages 4-6 the story is a light end of day read that will help signal that it is, in fact, time to put yourself in the head space you need so you too can dose off.

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