Oppenheim's (The Miracle of the First Poinsettia) alliterative rolling, rhyming verse, centers on a young prince in a faraway kingdom who refuses to go to sleep at bedtime. The king loudly issues a royal request: "If anyone knows how/ to make the prince rest,/ please come at once/ to the royal address!" A physician responds to his plea, bringing medicine he promises will "cure the condition." Though the prince refuses to taste the elixir, the queen and her courtiers, setting an example by tasting a sample, immediately fall asleep. Latimer's (Wheelie Girl) quirky, energetic acrylic and collage art playfully tweaks perspective and scale as dancers determined to perform until the prince nods off, tire themselves out instead, and a magician who promises to cast "hypnotic spells" riles up the lad rather than launching him into dreamland. At last a wise old woman arrives with bedtime stories to read to the restless child. But he's puzzled: " `But where are the pictures?,' he asked in surprise./ `You'll see them,' she said, `if you just close your eyes.' " And that does the trick. This spirited story may not lull little ones to sleep, but it will surely put smiles on their faces. Ages 4-8. (Aug.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
PreS-Gr 1-The little Prince refuses to go to bed despite the many sleep-inducing suggestions offered by well-meaning acquaintances. After trying tricks ranging from hypnotism to medicine, a grandmotherly looking woman arrives with a century-old solution that will delight readers-try a book. Average-quality rhymed couplets are easily read aloud (except perhaps for the tongue-twisting page that rhymes "present," "pheasant," "peasant," and "unpleasant"). Cartoonlike illustrations in colorful acrylics and collage move the action along. Stylized sheep decorate the endpapers as well as the wallpaper in the boy's bedroom. Pair this with similarly themed titles such as Carole Lexa Schaefer's Down in the Woods at Sleepytime (Candlewick, 2000) to create a bedtime ritual.-Blair Christolon, Prince William Public Library System, Manassas, VA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.