Maddie does not want to go to sleep. First she needs something to drink, to read a story…or three, and to check for monsters under the bed. When her parents finally say good night, she hears a noise: Quackers! Quackers!
Luckily, it’s just her toy duck, who needs some crackers. Maddie quickly tries to get him to go to sleep. But she soon discovers that may not be as easy as she thinks. And he isn’t the only one of her toys who might not quite be ready for bedtime.
A pigtailed girl named Maddie is trying every trick in the book to forestall bedtime, asking her parents for water and a story (she’s had both already), complaining about the dark (the nightlight is on), and worrying about monsters (family dog Roofus is standing guard). Her parents calmly deflect each delay tactic, and Maddie gets a taste of her own medicine when her toys spring to life, peppering her with similar requests. “Quackers! Quackers!” cries Duck, dressed like a pirate and demanding a snack. “Mo-o-o-o-n!” wails Cow, asking Maddie to open the curtains. “The mo-o-o-o-n is my nightlight.” Schlossberg’s (On the Way to Kindergarten) gauzy pastel cartoons exude just enough mischief to keep things interesting without derailing the book’s “No, really. It’s bedtime” messaging. Wright (Grumpy Groundhog) has great fun with the animals’ onomatopoeic demands (many children will be tempted to request future bedtime stories with a “R-read it. R-read it,” like Frog). And by allowing Maddie to play the roles of both needy child and patient caregiver, Wright and Schlossberg simultaneously cater to children’s desires to be doted on and to show off their competence. Ages 3–7