It’s time for bed, but little Bo isn’t ready to stop playing quite yet! As his mother gamely guides him through his nighttime routine, he imitates various animals—a hibernating bear after eating a snack, a snuggling sea otter when taking a bath, a coiled python while curling up under the covers… Mommy joins in on the fun and keeps one step ahead of Bo until he falls asleep, soaring like a bird into the world of dreams.
A lively and imaginative take on getting ready for bed that celebrates creative family play and the joyous love between mother and son.
A New York Times/New York Public Library Best Illustrated Children's Book of 2022!
Selected for the Society of Illustrators 2022 Original Art Show
Nominated for the 2021 Norwegian Ministry of Culture Picture Book Prize
Nominated for the 2021 Norwegian Book Prize (Brage Prize)
★ "Deeply comforting and joyful, this bedtime story features a wiggly toddler whose patient, playful mom takes him through his nighttime routine by indulging his imagination at every step. Johnsen, whose vivid, chaotic drawings represent Bo’s inner life and home life, resists tropes and shows the way children really perceive creative play: Sometimes, you fully turn into a sea otter in the wide ocean, but other times you’re just a kid who is also a sleepy python." —Author Emily Jenkins, judge of the 2022 New York Times/New York Public Library Best Illustrated Children's Book Award
"An unabashedly joyful romp from the author Kjersti Annesdatter Skomsvold, this book offers a master class in how to shepherd a rambunctious child to bed with patience, creativity and good humor... Illustrated by Mari Kanstad Johnsen in a riot of saturated colors and bold crayoned shapes, stuffed with charming and comical details, the book makes the most of its comfortably large size. The text, translated from the Norwegian by Kari Dickson, is as playful and affectionate as the images. In the art, as in Bo’s mind, no distinctions are drawn between reality and make-believe: This warm, chaotic home is an animal kingdom where pets, stuffed toys and exotic wildlife all coexist in creaturely companionship. Mother and child take turns metamorphosing into bears, sea otters, giraffes — and in one of the final transformations, they appear together as sleeping bats, large and small, their sweet, daffy fantasies perfectly in sync. Imagine it: bedtime as not a battle but a madcap collaboration!" —New York Times
★ "Translated from Norwegian, the story is delightful and enforces how savvy caregivers can direct and encourage learning, even in quiet moments when children are brushing their teeth or climbing into bed. The mixed-media illustrations, however, steal the show. With a bold fluidity of hand-drawn lines, vibrant colors, and the occasional hint of the cheeky humor that made Maurice Sendak and Tomi Ungerer famous, Johnsen creates a lush world that children will want to study night after night. The combination of text and illustration transforms into something sublime. Don’t sleep on this book; it’s magnificent!" —Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW
“An original 'Good Night' book that meets the child at eye level... The playful interaction between child and adult is exemplary, and so is the interaction between text and image... The drawings enter the space of the imagination and transform mother and son, first into parrots that flutter out into the kitchen, then into several other animals, and everything follows its own logic while the two gradually play until the child falls asleep... The child's resistance is met with warmth, humor and play, curiosity and wonder... The book takes the children who are being read to—and who are going to bed themselves—very seriously, as they try to enter its imaginary world.” —Norwegian Book Prize Jury
“Over the course of a pre-bed snack, bath time, tooth-brushing, and tuck-in, Mommy and child Bo insert wildlife-filled adventure into their routine… Johnsen’s multicolored drawings have a loosely rendered, busy feel; jam-packed domestic scenes overflow with creatures, toys, and a rambunctious energy that make this volume a ‘wild’ read.” —Publishers Weekly
"Deep into twilight, imaginative Bo is enjoying himself too much to want to wind down and get ready for sleep. His mother makes him dinner and draws a bath; they exchange thoughts about all the ways that other animals doze. Oh- oh!: here comes a yawn, despite Bo’s best intentions. In this soothing bedtime story, the appealing illustrations play with melting lines, stacked details, elongated faces, and bright, saturated colors—flourishes certain to mesmerize young audiences as they prepare to fly off to dreamland themselves." —Foreword Reviews
- Society of Illustrators Original Art Show
- NYT/NYPL Best Illustrated Children's Book
- Norwegian Book Prize (Brage Prize)
- Norwegian Ministry of Culture Picture Book Prize