Saturday, November 24, 2018

Review: Change the World Before Bedtime by Mark Kimball Moulton, Josh Chalmers and Karen Good

by Mark Kimball Moulton
Josh Chalmers
Karen Good
Schiffer Publishing, Ltd.
Picture Books
32 pages

Written in simple, engaging rhyme, this story takes an inspirational look into how the little things in life a smile, a kind word, a simple deed can help change the world in a big way. Through 18 stunning illustrations, children will read about eating right, cleaning up the Earth by recycling and conserving, helping the sick and those less fortunate, and working in a group to make bigger miracles. Even an ordinary kid can be a superhero before bedtime! Grades Pre-K to 2. 


Inspiration, achievable goals, and lots of sunshine smiles help guide young readers to ideas on how they too can change the world.

The question of whether or not a child can change the world...for the better...before bedtime is the main string in these pages. Written in a nicely flowing rhyme, it bounces from one two-page spread to the next. Each time, a situation or explanation of how a person can react kindly to someone who needs it hits. While most of the ideas are simple—visiting a sick person, for example—others take a little more effort. The suggestions are, in most instances, doable.

This book radiates energy, excitement and an almost hectic atmosphere to get up and do things. This doesn't center on a single kid but incorporates a bouncy group from the first moment on. The phrase 'we' is constantly used which also gives the idea of team work and unity. While a two-or-so line rhyme accompanies each spread, little speech bubbles over the illustrations' heads and sparks of humor, ideas and bring the entire thing closer to the young reader's level.

The illustrations are as busy as the kids' energy and consist of a mixture of water colors and real life materials to give them an interesting depth. There is always something to look at, making this a nice book to flip through time and again.

One thing is clear, this is a message book. There is no attempt at a story (which my family found a little disappointing), but rather it bounces from one situation to the next to illustrate exactly how kids can do things to help others. It's not a bedtime read but would work great in classroom or group discussions as well as an inspiration at home. Especially the ideas of things to do come out loud and clear. The best parts, in our opinion, are the lists at the end of the book. There are two pages where kids can add their own ideas and happy thoughts. Then, encouraging phrases from various languages are offered as well as directions for a 'make-it-yourself' superhero cape...because everyone should be a superhero. Lastly, there are a few pages with lists of exact ideas kids can use to start bigger projects such as donating clothes, growing vegetables for neighbors or even starting a fundraiser.

While this isn't a usual story time book, it's a wonderful read for inspiring kids and giving them ideas on how they too can help others in small or even big ways.

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