Don't Close Your Eyes: A Silly Bedtime Story by Bob Hostetler, Illustrated by Mark Chambers
A fun concept for a children's book along the lines of Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! (Mo Willems, 2003), Don't Close Your Eyes is a padded board book that encourages kids to fall asleep by telling them not to do the inevitable--closing their eyes and going to sleep. Each rhyming quatrain split into two lines on each side of the spread describes how various animals prepare for bed, recaps the days activities, and provides arguments for staying awake--"Life's too sweet to spend it sleeping" (16). Though the text is cute and the rhyming lines have a nice rhythm, it's the illustrations that set this book apart.
Mark Chambers' illustrations feature different animals on each spread, often with what appears to be both parent(s) and child(ren) of a particular animal family, as well as other random animals. The best part about them is that although most of the animals have half-closed eyes or completely closed, there's always at least one animal with eyes wide open, which looks hilarious and adorable. In the second to last spread, all of the foxes' eyes are partially or completely closed, and the final spread has a mix of animals all sound asleep.
Little details like a ladybug on a fence post and nearly camouflaged fish in the pond make nice treats for the attentive reader.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher, but was not required to post a positive review.