I Just Want to Say Good Night

Delightful bedtime story set in the African plains




In a village on the African plains a little girl stalls bedtime by saying good night to various animals and objects.

Caldecott Honor-winner Rachel Isadora’s stunning oil paintings illustrate this delightful bedtime tale set on the African plains. The sun has set and the moon is rising and that means it’s bedtime. But not if Lala has a say–because she’s not ready to go to sleep! First she needs to say good night to the cat. And the goat. And the chickens. And and and . . . Lala’s adorable stalling strategy will ring true for all parents whose little ones aren’t ready to say goodbye to the day–and all will appreciate the wonderful culmination to the bedtime ritual.

Review Quotes:
This gentle title is wholly original and a homage to the classic bedtime story. . . . Universalities such as a loving family coaxing an adorably stalling child to bed are also depicted. A charming soothing bedtime tale that begs to be shared again and again.” –School Library Journal

“Isadora revisits the rural African setting of some of her fairy tale retellings in a story spotlighting the age-old phenomenon of bedtime stalling. . . . The repetition gives the story a predictable lilting cadence that invites children to echo Lala’s good night wishes. . . . Dramatic oil-and-ink artwork offers tender portraits of Lala gently interacting with each animal against a darkening landscape as the sun descends the moon rises and shadows emerge.” –Publishers Weekly

“The African setting is harmoniously rendered in oils and ink and as night falls the scenes become even richer. Lila her hair in twisty braids dressed in a simple shift is a sweet yet spunky heroine who captures the universal defiance of children at bedtime.” –Booklist

“There are some behaviors that span the globe. . . . Preschool-perfect conflict and the text could not be simpler giving to Isadora’s illustrations oil paint and ink all the drama of sunset on the African plains. The ever-deepening blue of the sky is the backdrop to a rich display of plants and animals all naturally but boldly hued and anchored by the human forms of Lala and her family and their fellow villagers. A twist at the end . . . is a good gentle joke in its own right but also serves to reinforce the universality of the situation.” –The Horn Book
32 pages
Reading level: 1.2
Ages 3-5


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