Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Goodnight, Good Dog by Mary Lyn Ray, illustrated by Rebecca Malone

It can be difficult to find picture books that are suitable for very young, toddler audiences. However, although I originally passed this one over because the cover didn't grab me, upon closer inspection it turned out to be exactly what I was looking for.

Dog prepares for bed as he listens to the sounds of the evening and remembers his day. He remembers the words he knows, the games and fun of the day. Now the day is over and dog takes one last walk through the house, checks his people, and goes to sleep.

The simple, lulling text is complemented by Malone's blocky, simple illustrations. The only face is of dog's girl, mostly shown sleeping or pressed tightly against his fur. The illustrations remind me of the broad outlines and simple colors of Laura Dronzek's work, although Malone's art is very much her own. The simplicity of the art makes it perfect for small children both one-on-one and in a group to follow along the story and share their own experiences of the day, words they know, and bedtime routines.

Verdict: Use this at bedtime with your little one or in a bedtime or dog-themed toddler storytime. The slow pace of the story may lose listeners, but if you make it interactive - finding things in the picture, asking about their day to compare, you'll quickly pull them back to the lilting rhythm of the story.

ISBN: 9780544286122; Published 2015 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; Borrowed from another library in my consortium

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