Most bedtime books are either about the bedtime routine (so things like brushing teeth, putting on pyjamas, reading stories, cuddles), or are soothing books about saying goodnight. They tend to soft and quiet and gentle, the kinds of books that are perfect for lulling little people into peaceful slumber. Here are three new and forthcoming books about bedtime that subvert those expectations.
Cave Dada by Brandon Reese (31 March, 2020)
This one is my favourite one on the list, and one of my favourites of 2020. It is a hilarious picture book about a cave daddy and his cave baby. Cave Baba wants a book at bedtime, Cave Dada says no, he’s been hunting and gathering all day. Cave Baba cries because come on dad, what’s bedtime without a book?! Parenting book. So Cave Dada goes and gets a book (really a giant stone tablet)… but then baby wants a bigger book. This is a charming and funny book about how parents will do anything for their kids (especially how parents will do anything to get their kids to go to sleep), and would make a perfect present for all the dads to young children in your life.
How to Put an Octopus to Bed by Sherri Duskey Rinker, illustrated by Viviane Schwarz (31 March, 2020)
The author of the Goodnight Goodnight Construction Site series returns with another bedtime book, but instead of heavy machinery, we get a family of octopuses this time. Little Octopus tries putting Mum and Dad Octopus to bed, and hijinks ensue. This is a silly, exuberant, cheerful book that’s full of colour and life and a joy to read aloud. If you’re keen for some fun and silliness at bedtime, this is the book for you.
Everyone’s Awake by Colin Meloy, illustrated by Shawn Harris
Oh goodness the COLOURS of this book! They are bright and vivid and delightful. Like How to Put an Octopus to Bed, this is a lively and silly book about a family of insomniacs who are doing all sorts of things like baking bread, tap dancing, and juggling when they should be asleep. The world outside is sleeping but inside this particular family home, everyone’s awake! A book for all the insomniacs out there (or the people with newborns for whom night and day don’t really have a clear distinction. Oh, that’s us soon).