GREENAWAY MEDAL WINNER – 1996
(aka The Boy Who Wouldn’t Go to Bed)
by Helen Cooper
London: Doubleday, 1996
Interests: bedtime stories, night
Also by this author: Pumpkin Soup, The Bear Under the Stairs
Mother says it’s bedtime but Baby says he’s going to stay up all night and drives off in his little car. He travels through a twilight world of stuffed animals and toys, all of whom are too tired to play with him. When everyone around him has fallen asleep, including his car, Baby is left alone in the night. Then a distant figure appears, searching for him. It’s Mother, and she gives him a big hug before trundling yawning Baby all the way home to bed.
A familiar story, as Baby refuses to go to bed. The imaginary landscape he travels through is warm and magical, with drowsy animals, yawning tin soldiers, a train full of dozing fairy tale characters, and a slumbering silvery moon. The pallette of the illustrations shift gently from golden twilight to a warm orange sunset and on into the blues of night time. There is a brief moment when Baby stands alone in the quiet dark woods, but his mother can be seen in the distance and is soon there to fold him in her arms. Baby is ready to sleep now.
The rebellious hero will be extremely appealing to youngsters, as he boldly sets out in his little car. A good story to (hopefully) lull your rebellious one to sleep.