When his parents tell him it’s time for bed, a little boy enlists the help of his bedroom toys, one by one, to noisily emphasize his retort: GO AWAY! Definitely not your typical lullaby, the book’s repetitive beat of booms and dings and clinks and blings forms a rhythm all its own that will have kids joining in and marching right off to dreamland.
Geringer's (A Three Hat Day) bouncy beats and sound effects will have musical readers all a-clamor. The cover pictures a toy gnome and his drum under a tent of a storybook that reads, "A Most Unusual Bedtime Story," and the story's energetic action exploits readers' after-dinner punchiness. It all starts with the gnome pounding away at his drum: "And when his mama said,/ 'You had better go to bed,'/ He said, 'Hush!/ Don't spoil the rhythm/ Of my drum." A repeating "boom boom" in bold display type alternates with the gnome's spoken "Go away!" One by one, restless toys join in tapping a gong ("ding ding"), shaking bells ("bong bong"), blasting a horn, and tooting a bassoon. The chorus grows ("Go away. plong plong clink clink bong bong... Go away!") as their mingled music and voices spill across the spreads. Ibatoulline (Great Joy) pictures the dolls in closeup in a playroom, gathering blocks and sitting down to form an onomatopoeic orchestra. Geringer's foreword credits the Dalcroze method of musical improvisation for inspiring this physical sequence, and single or multiple performers can generate satisfying harmony or noisy discord. Ages 3 6.