Bound To Stay Bound

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 Bedtime at Bessie and Lil's
 Author: Sternberg, Julie

 Publisher:  Boyds Mills Press (2015)

 Classification: Easy
 Physical Description: [32] p., col. ill., 26 cm.

 BTSB No: 851006 ISBN: 9781590789346
 Ages: 3-7 Grades: K-2

 Rabbits -- Fiction
 Bedtime -- Fiction

Price: $6.50

It's bedtime at Bessie and Lil's, but neither of these bunnies seem to be listening to Mama. Will they ever get to bed?

 Illustrator: Gudeon, Adam
Accelerated Reader Information:
   Interest Level: LG
   Reading Level: 2.50
   Points: .5   Quiz: 175601

   Kirkus Reviews (12/15/14)
   School Library Journal (02/01/15)
   Booklist (03/01/15)
 The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (A) (06/15)

Full Text Reviews:

Booklist - 03/01/2015 From Mama Rabbit’s point of view, bedtime for Bessie and Lil is less than idyllic. When she attempts to read to them from one of her favorite picture books, Lil snuggles in to listen, while Bessie practices headstands and makes distracting comments. Next thing you know, both bunnies are practicing skipping, while Mama finishes the book on her own. After kissing their sleeping baby sibling, Bessie and Lil go to bed and, eventually, to sleep. Sternberg captures that awkward time of day when children have more pep than the parent who is trying to tuck them in. Pared down to essentials, the text and conversations sound true to life. As the sisters lean in to kiss their sibling, Mama closes her eyes and silently chants in quiet desperation, “Please, please, please don’t wake the baby.” The scene will amuse parents while satisfying kids in a different way. The jaunty illustrations—ink drawings with gouache paints—are clearly delineated and full of fun. Good bedtime fare. - Copyright 2015 Booklist.

School Library Journal - 02/01/2015 PreS-K—Mama Rabbit would very much like her two energetic daughters to go to bed. Bessie does headstands; Lil practices skipping. When Mama Rabbit isn't reminding the girls not to wake the baby, she reads aloud from one of her favorite bedtime stories, a sweet, soothing tale reminiscent of Goodnight Moon. While the main story about Mama, Bessie, and Lil is painted in kinetic pinks and purples, the pages of the story-within-a-story have gentler shapes and tints and are cleverly encased in book-shaped frames. These few scenes interrupt the action and insert brief moments of calm among the bedtime escapades. They are also—with the exception of the book's final page—the only times that Bedtime at Bessie and Lil's might succeed in easing young readers toward sleep. This raises two pertinent questions: Is this a bedtime story? What age group will enjoy it? While the language and plot may appeal to younger children (and to mothers who empathize with Mama Rabbit), it may be too wordy for little ones. Gudeon's lively illustrations, though, combine with the upbeat young rabbits' exploits to make this an entertaining daytime read for kindergarteners. VERDICT An additional purchase.—Susan Weitz, formerly at Spencer-Van Etten School District, Spencer, NY - Copyright 2015 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

Bulletin for the Center... - 06/01/2015 It’s bedtime for bunny sisters Bessie and Lil, but this is no tidy Goodnight Moon tale; while Mama Rabbit tries to read a bedtime story (one she fondly remembers from her own youth), her girls are easily distracted and won’t stay in bed, preferring instead to practice skipping, look out the window at the moon, and rush into their sleeping baby sister’s room to blow her goodnight kisses. When they eventually get tucked in, they still haven’t settled down completely, but after being shushed a couple of times by their mother, they finally drift off. It’s refreshing to see a bedtime book in which everything isn’t all cozy snuggles and smooth lullabies, but the story-within-a-story doesn’t quite pack the punch of Rosen’s energetic bedtime tale Send for a Superhero (BCCB 9/14) and the narrative trajectory lacks focus. Gudeon’s artwork is done in ink and gouache with some pictures (mainly the interspersed ÒpagesÓ of Mama’s readaloud book) stained and textured with tea bags for a vintage feel; unfortunately, some of the images and outlines are slightly blurry. The lanky-limbed white rabbits with their long ears are cute without being saccharine, though, and their lively antics add some sass to the more soporific lavenders and pinks of the backgrounds (as do their bright orange stuffed carrot toy, carrot-shaped car, and carrot-shaped toy rocket). Weary parents are probably going to get more out of this than their kids, but it might make an amusing family readaloud. JH - Copyright 2015 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.

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