BookDragon Books for the Diverse Reader

Time for Bed, Miyuki by Roxane Marie Galliez, illustrated by Seng Soun Ratanavanh [in Shelf Awareness]

“As the sun slowly hides to watch the moon rise,” the nightingale, the ants, the toad all anticipate the approaching “hour of rest.” Only Miyuki is still “busy playing and trying to push back time.” Resisting her grandfather’s gentle reminders, Miyuki insists, “I still have so much to do.” Grandfather wisely queries, “What do you have to do that cannot wait until tomorrow?” even as he indulges Miyuki’s slumber-avoiding whims.

She insists on preparing for tomorrow’s arrival of the Dragonfly Queen and her entire court. “So Grandfather helped Miyuki make a canopy … with fallen leaves, three twigs, and a poppy.” But then Miyuki must water her vegetables. And then “gather the whole Snail family together,” and next “cover … up the cat.” And then and then and then… until finally, “Miyuki yawned.” But dancetime, bathtime, hair-brushtime still await. (Even Grandfather is now yawning.)

French writer Roxane Marie Galliez and French painter Seng Soun Ratanavanh create an enchanting international import that travels readily between countries and cultures. Galliez, with her ancient civilizations doctorate and extensive Pacific Island travel as researcher and journalist, infuses her experiences and expertise into her Japanese-inspired, oversized garden of natural delights. Her clever meta-reference back to her own tale at Grandfather’s storytime-ending is especially mirth-inducing. Ratanavanh reflects Galliez’s Japanese theme, using iconic Japanese prints and images throughout the garden: Miyuki and Grandfather’s clothing patterns, the fantastical plants, koinobori (traditional carp windsocks), a bento box for Miyuki’s vegetables, the sweatered maneki neko (greeting cat). Celebrating the loving care of nature, the indulgent feeding of a child’s imagination and the unbreakable bonds of family, Time for Bed, Miyuki is sure to inspire sweet dreams.

Discover: The sun, the animals, even the insects are readying for bedtime, but Miyuki avoids Grandfather’s gentle urgings toward slumber with many imaginative “still-have-so-much-to-do”s.

Review: “Children & Young Adult,” Shelf Awareness, September 28, 2018

Readers: Children

Published: 2018


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