Review by Francine Puckly
This book pick begins with a disclaimer—all of us at 24 Carrot Writing have been intimately involved with Annie Cronin Romano’s debut picture book, Before You Sleep: A Bedtime Book of Gratitude (Page Street Kids, 2018). This included reading and critiquing numerous drafts as Annie journeyed with this story from rhyme to free-verse and back again. Despite that by the very nature of our involvement we are biased toward this story, this picture book is an enchanting, rhythmic and comforting story about tucking in one’s senses before dropping into the night’s slumber.
Annie gently takes the readers and young listeners of the story through the sounds, scents, tastes, sights, and touches experienced during the day. Ioana Hobai’s soft and luscious illustrations add to the calming effect. Before You Sleep is a perfect way for helping little ones mentally wrap up their day and establishing a bedtime mindset. This book will delight young readers and parents alike!
Annie’s voice is lyrical, and she evokes emotion and response with her careful word choice. She shows in this manuscript how important it is to make every word count. In addition to thoughtful, tight text, Annie uses unexpected experiences to highlight these senses, bringing a new experience to her readers.
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