“A cozy read to wind down from the duties of the day with an admirable extra emphasis on reading.”
Opening on a sunset scene in Sleepyville, residents are closing up shops and scuttling home. In a celebration of the end of the work and school day, each unique home welcomes its resident in time for dinner and the ensuing events—washing and putting away dishes, enjoying milk and cookies, putting on pajamas, brushing teeth, and snuggling into bed with a lullabye or bedtime story. “Down goes the sun, and up comes the moon . . . all the lights go out, except one”—a little fox staying up past lights out to read a book in bed by flashlight. Henry’s soft and cozy illustrations capture the golden hour, twilight, and starry night sky of Sleepyville with warm, comforting hues and long shadows while also incorporating bright scenes throughout the tale with dinner time, funky pajamas, and orange autumn leaves. Hellman’s sweet take on a bedtime book is distinguished by the focus of evening time in general, ranging from heading home for dinner to bedtime, rather than just homing in on the bedtime routine. The bulk of the events in the story happen within the first half of the book, using the book’s length to mirror the winding down that comes with bedtime, but the second half may feel dragged out for some. This warm and inviting evening and bedtime book notably includes an emphasis on reading and books, like dropping off library books on the way home, reading books at the dinner table, bedtime stories, and the lingering night-time reader.
Blessed, or perhaps cursed, with an extraordinary sense of smell, Blake Liliane Hellman has always enjoyed sniffing out a mystery. Whether that means discerning leather from pleather or which coworker had garlic for lunch, her nose is on the case! She lives with her nice-smelling family and a rather stinky cat in Seattle, Washington. Something Smells! is her first picture book.
Steven Henry (né D’Amico) is the illustrator of the popular Ella the Elegant Elephant series, as well as It’s Raining Bats and Frogs and All Kinds of Kisses for F&amp;amp;F. He lives in Seattle, Washington.
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