Saturday 2 May 2020

Bedtime Daddy

Bedtime Daddy by Sharon Giltrow, Katrin Dreiling (EK Books)
RRP $24.99 ISBN 9781925820386

Reviewed by Karen Hendriks

Giltrow has written a book that flips the role play between a Little Bear and his Daddy. It’s hard work putting a Daddy Bear to bed: he is full of bedtime excuses and dramas that even call for monster spray. The endless battles to get Daddy to sleep are hilarious.

The dialogue is full of humour and moves the story through bedtime rituals until Daddy finally sleeps. ‘Then say, ‘Time to brush your teeth.’ The language adds to the fun. ‘Tell your Daddy, ‘Potty time.’ Then race him and belly flop onto the bed.’ The pacing of the story varies to build the frustration and anticipation. The tongue-in-cheek humour will delight any adults that read to children at bedtime. E.g. Read one more story but skip a few words or even a few pages. Giltrow’s voice makes this text sing.

Dreiling’s gorgeous illustrations add multiple layers of meaning to the already funny text. The endpapers, with an inky sky with moons and stars, are a great visual start and finish. We know the book begins and ends at night-time. The cartoon-like bears with expressive faces play well with the text. I love that the child reader can choose for themselves if Little Bear is a boy or girl. The colour palette and use of perspective with water colours let emotions speak. The strong ending of the book has allowed the illustrations to be the voice which satisfies the reader with a cheeky wink and snooze. The illustrator has added another character with Little Bear’s doll.

This is a book for children 3-8 years. It will be well received by both children and parents. It’s a great bedtime book sure to be found upon many a shelf.

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