The art of British illustrator Helen Oxenbury captivated me decades ago, when my own children were little; her newest project revives my admiration and introduces me to the work of Timothy Knapman, who writes in many genres, including musicals. While the pictures made me look, the song in this book filled me with happiness.
A strange sound is coming from deeper in the forest. Little listeners may first be wary and worried as they wander with Alice and Jack among the trees, wondering too, should they turn home? But the delightful ending will help you sing down the evening and send those little listeners smiling into their goodnight dreams.
— From Claudia's Picks
A mysterious forest sound sets a curious girl and her timid younger brother on an evening adventure with an unexpectedly heartwarming outcome.
Alice and Jack are out playing catch when they hear a strange sound coming from the forest. Jack wants to know what it could be, and Alice decides to go find out. "But what if it's the Wicked Wolf?" Jack asks. "Shhh," says Alice. "Everything is going to be all right." As the two go deeper into the woods and get closer to the odd noise, Jack grows more afraid. But Alice reassures him as she guides him along, and together they make a surprising and sweet discovery. Author Timothy Knapman balances the excitement of adventuring into the unknown with the comfort of returning home safe and sound, while Helen Oxenbury's classically charming illustrations make this a perfect bedtime book to share with little explorers, both the brave ones and those who may need some reassuring that everything is going to be all right.
About the Author
Timothy Knapman is a children’s writer, lyricist, and playwright. He is the author of the picture books Soon, illustrated by Patrick Benson, and Dinosaurs Don’t Have Bedtimes, illustrated by Nikki Dyson. He lives in Surrey, England.
Helen Oxenbury is a two-time winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal and the winner of the 2015 Carle Artist Honor. She is a celebrated illustrator of many well-loved books, including Charley’s First Night and When Charley Met Grampa, both by Amy Hest, Farmer Duck by Martin Waddell, and There’s Going to Be a Baby by her husband, John Burningham. Helen Oxenbury lives in London.
Just the right combination of fairy tale and bedtime book, scary and soothing...Oxenbury's pencil-and-watercolor illustrations underscore the text's timeless feel and add whimsy with just the right touch of eeriness. Her ever-so-slightly anthropomorphized wolves and sun-dappled forest are as inviting as anything she's done. Time now to savor this lovely offering.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Turning the page, readers see a huge wolf lovingly crooning to her trio of adoring, drowsy pups, framed by soft green leaves. It’s impossible not to linger on this image and savor its poignancy. The delicious escalation of suspense is replaced with a quiet sense of wonder, making this story a winner.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Helen Oxenbury’s beautiful pencil-and-watercolor illustrations follow two children braving a dark forest to find the source of an enigmatic song in ‘Time Now to Dream’, a picture book by Timothy Knapman…For children ages 3-7 this is that loveliest sort of bedtime adventure, one that alternates between vicarious fear and loving reassurance and that builds to a surprising revelation.
—The Wall Street Journal
Oxenbury’s pencil and watercolor illustrations are soft and lovely, depicting nature in its uncomplicated joy. Now, as fear is blown away, the lullaby’s words are clear to the children, and it’s Jack’s turn to tell Alice that “everything is all right.” This gentle, quiet read is an excellent addition to most picture book collections.
—School Library Journal
This flight of fancy, which ends with the children in bed, is wound with both adventure and safety as well as heaps of sweetness.
Author and illustrator gently turn folktale conventions on their heads for this don’t-be-afraid bedtime story...the eventual appearance of the wolf—and her pups!—is sweet indeed.
—The Horn Book
The charming illustrations will help to reassure little ones that even when they are scared, everything will be alright. A perfect blend of classic bedtime story, adventure, and sweet prose, this story will surely help any reluctant child drift off to sleep.
—School Library Connection