PENGUIN & TINY SHRIMP Don’t Do Bedtime! by Cate Berry & Illus Charles Santoso

Hello! I’m short of time this month, since my buns have been pretty much glued to the tractor seat for the past three weeks …

Note: This pic is from last year (and don’t worry, we were barely moving in a wide open field — otherwise, a rider is buckled into the buddy seat), but this particular grand rode with me for awhile yesterday, and, if possible, he’s even more of a button-pushing octopus at 3 than he was at 2.

…so, since I haven’t had time for a library run, I’m pulling a current favorite from my own bookshelf to share.

Cate Berry, for me, has rapidly become one of those “can’t wait to see what she does next” authors. Tammi interviewed her about her 2019 book, Chicken Break!, but I want to talk today about her 2018 title, Penguin & Tiny Shrimp Don’t Do Bedtime! It’s another one my grandkiddos make a beeline for every time they’re here.

What I appreciate most about this book is that it gets right to the point from the very first page, the very first line, when Penguin says: “This is not a bedtime book.” And his pal Shrimp adds: “We don’t do bedtime.” They first tell us what the book does NOT have (toothbrushing, big soft beds, etc), then move into what the book DOES have, things guaranteed to keep the reader awake. Each spread keeps text to a minimum and allows the illustrator lots of room to play. In this case, that’s Charles Santoso, and PLAY he does. Because of the strong voices here, a read aloud-er has room to play, too. And, ooh, we DO, here at my house.

After lots of raucous, rowdy spreads, the inevitable happens: the mere mention of a yawn brings yawns all around … as yawns tend to do. And you can guess what that leads to.

If you’re looking for nutty books to pull giggles from any crowd or lap listener, add this one to your pile.

BOOK GIVEAWAY WINNER! Last month I interviewed Suzanne Slade about her fabulous new book, Dazzlin’ Dolly. Kimberly Osko, you’re the lucky winner! Congrats, Kimberly!

Jill Esbaum

Jill Esbaum is the author of more than 50 children's books. Recent picture books include JACK KNIGHT'S BRAVE FLIGHT (a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard selection), HOW TO GROW A DINOSAUR, WHERE'D MY JO GO?, FROG BOOTS, and WE LOVE BABIES! She is also the author of a graphic early reader series, Thunder & Cluck (another Junior Library Guild Gold Standard selection). In addition, she has authored two dozen nonfiction series books for Nat Geo Kids, including several titles in the immensely popular LITTLE KIDS BIG BOOK OF–– series. Next year brings her first humorous informational fiction pb, STINKBIRD HAS A SUPERPOWER. Lots more books are on the way! For more information about Jill and her books, visit her website at

One Comment:

  1. Jill, I remember that sweet picture. Thanks for this silly book rec from your own shelves.

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