I am so absolutely in love with An After Bedtime Story, written by Shoham Smith and illustrated by Einat Tsarfatit, translated by Annette Appel. With illustrations that feel like an update on Hilary Knight's classic style (in fact, I think that Nina could very well be what Kay Thompson's Eloise was like as a toddler) and a story that I am sure was written just for me, although about 10 years too late, An After Bedtime Story is sure to become a classic among a certain set of (lovingly permissive) parents. I never did get the bedtime routine down, even with my third and lots of sleep-training books, and can totally relate to Nina's very tired parents. . .
Written in rhyming couplets, An After Bedtime Story opens with an adorable little girl, tucked into bed and sleeping, her parents on either side of her doorway, ready to sneak off. Nina calls them back for one more kiss, and they oblige, of course. But, instead of falling back to sleep, Nina is off and running down the hall, her parents sitting on her bed, bewildered, frustrated and clearly approaching exhausted. But how can Nina sleep? There are guest over and a party happening in the living room. And boy, does Nina know how to party. After hugs from all the aunties and uncles, she hits the dessert cart hard. From there, it's the drinks - fizzy pink lemonade, perfect for the pink and yellow palette that makes the black ink lines of the illustrations pop. Mom and dad try to reign her in. They count down, but before they can give Nina an ultimatum, her baby brother is standing in the hallway, blankie (and toy sword - after all, little brother is wearing a Viking helmet) in hand.
Einat Tsarfati's illustrations are brilliant! They are modern and humorous, but also feel like a timeless representation of life with toddlers. Every page is rich with details, and you will pore over An After Bedtime Story again and again taking them in, from the pet pug who is in a cone-collar for unknown reasons to Nina's bedroom, strewn with toys, including a cradle with a robot tucked in for the night and toy T-rex charging a Barbie-type doll. An After Bedtime Story is one that parents and kids will laugh at together every time they read it, and maybe it might even lead to some peaceful nighttime resolutions?
Source: Review Copy