I know, I know another book by Rukhsana Khan, but really how great is she. She writes books with religious references sometimes, cultural ties sometimes, and sometimes just fun books. I love that kids of all backgrounds associate her with good stories, and that she hasn’t limited herself to just one demographic.
Bedtime Ba-a-a-lk has no religious or cultural connections and is just about a girl dealing with rogue sheep in her mind that don’t want to be counted. The AR level is 2.6 but I don’t know that 2nd graders and below would really “get” the story. The vocabulary is great, with a little assistance: balk, conjuring, deliberate, snub, mutiny, haunches, eider-down, furrowed, etc.. And the concept of a girl creating her imaginary dream world and conversing with the characters in it, is grand, but I look forward to testing out which age groups grasp it, and which ones just think it is a funny story with an obstinate ram.
The book is 30 pages and beautifully, playfully illustrated. The pictures are just “fuzzy” enough to give a sleepy feel, and bold enough to stretch the imagination. The lines do not rhyme, but flow easily. The font is large and inviting, and well placed on the page. The book is clean, and the girl in her pleading with the sheep uses “please” and good manners in her firm demands. It does use the word, stupidly and darn, once each, but overall a silly fun read.