One of the wonderful things about living in the Southwestern US is that there is a whole unique genre of regional literature, including children’s literature. There are not many other parts of the United States that come to mind with such a strong regional literary presence.
After finding my review of their book Baby Animals of the Southwest, publisher Rising Moon (Northland Publishing) asked me if I would be interested in reading and reviewing other books. I am very interested in Southwestern and multicultural children’s literature and I loved the idea of helping support a local publisher (Northland was based in Flagstaff, Arizona, not far from me).
Unfortunately, I heard on the news last night that Northland has just been purchased by a large East Coast publisher and has already closed its doors (which explains the lack of response when I requested some high resolution images of the book to add to this post).
Just when I was feeling like a “cool blogger” for having been asked to write a book review, “my publisher” goes out of business! Maybe I should have written my review sooner?? Oh well. They were kind enough to send me the book, and it is a great book, so I will write the review anyhow!
I was interested in Southwestern bedtime stories, so they kindly sent me Bedtime in the Southwest, by Mona Hodgson, illustrated by Renee Graef.
The southwestern animals in this story resist bedtime in ways that all parents will recognize (bouncing on the bed, ignoring Mama, begging for juice, etc,)… but at the end, the animals demonstrate the proper way to go to bed “scoot into bed and snuggle in tight, and offer big hugs and then say goodnight.”
The text is very simple so that it will appeal to younger children. The illustrations are humorous and very cute and depict such animals as prong-horned antelope, skunks, hummingbirds, and coyotes for example.
I gave this book the test of all my children (ages 7, 5, and 19 months). They all enjoyed it, but my 19 month-old actually made me read it twice more. She loved the story and for some reason, she found the skunk page absolutely fascinating!
If you are looking for an unusual, quality children’s bedtime story with cute art, give Bedtime in the Southwest a try. This might be a really fun one to read to a reluctant sleeper too!