Friday, February 25, 2005

Good Night Pillow Fight

Cook, Sally. 2004. GOOD NIGHT PILLOW FIGHT. Illus. by Laura Cornell.
New York: HarperCollins. ISBN 0062051903 [Suggested Grade Levels Pre-K-1]

Most young children hate going to bed. They want to stay up and have fun. However, their frantic parents will do almost anything to get their boisterous offspring to sleep. This humorous picture book by first time author, Sally Cook, depicts the on-going battles between kids and their parents at bedtime. The reader is introduced to an apartment building full of young children and their parents. Each window in the building allows us to see the amusing methods desperate parents resort to in order to get their child to bed. The children will have none of it! After enduring pillow fights, games of hide and seek, additional drinks and stories, the exhausted parents finally get the kids to sleep!

This is an amusing book with wonderfully absurd illustrations. The brightly colored watercolors are very detailed, encouraging young children to examine them closely to see what the children are up to. The story begins with lots of action and excitement but gradually winds down as the children become sleepy. The dialog between the parents (written in blue) and the children (written in red), clearly shows how frustrated the parents are and how gleeful the children. The simple rhyming text is written different styles and sizes to give a sense of excitement and playfulness. When the parents say: “Good night”, the children respond with “Pillow fight!” When the parents cry: “Go to bed!”, the children counter with “You haven’t read!” and on it goes. At the end, the apartment building is all dark and the parents wearily say: “Off with the light. Good night.” Not to be outdone however, on the final page, one little holdout whispers: “Pillow fight?” Young children will be able to relate to the antics of the children and parents will commiserate with their literary counterparts.

Adults may encourage counting skills by having the children count along with the children in the book as they count sheep. Young children may also enjoy activities related to bedtime, such as singing songs like “Rockabye Baby” or “Ten in the Bed” and fingerplays such as “Five Little Monkeys.”

Other books about bedtime:
Root, Phyllis. TEN SLEEPY SHEEP. ISBN 0763615455
Wood, Audrey. THE NAPPING HOUSE. ISBN 0152567089

By Ellen Reed

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