It’s hard on a little person when mom insists that it is time for bed when everyone knows that “bed is for tired people,” and Livi is certainly not tired. On her way to bed, she is a circus acrobat, a zoo dentist, a magician, a rocket scientist, and a purple octopus, but she is definitely NOT a tired person. Her imagination can effortlessly take her high into the mountains or out to the middle of the desert where her parched throat begs for a glass of cool water, but a world where Livi is a tired person is absolutely unimaginable. However, she must succumb to her mother’s insistence on bed in the end. The only question is, will she emerge in the morning, or will she hibernate all winter long?
It was with much, MUCH trepidation that I read this book to my children. I picked it up at the library because I liked the bright colors and engaging illustration on the cover, but I planned to be sneaky and read it on my own. My kids found it and, clever fiends that they are, brilliantly deduced that this was not a grown up book, and was therefore their rightful bedtime property. The reason I was fearful of sharing was that I have a TERRIBLE time getting my second daughter to go to bed at night. She is a persistent genius at bedtime stall tactics and I did not want to give her any ideas. Since I am so influenced by books myself, I always assume my kids will be the same. I am relieved to report, however, that my daughters all found this book hilarious but have not started filling their trip from the living room to their bedroom with imaginary metamorphoses. It must be because our apartment is so small- the food provided to the imagination decreases exponentially as the distance covered decreases. I’m writing a paper about it and conducting a double blind experiment… maybe in reverse order.
But about the book. My kids loved it. The pictures are great, Livi is a lively and compelling main character, the imaginary leaps (as, for example, from towel on the floor to guinea pig levitating magician) are original but very believable for an energetic 5 year old. Their favorite part is when Livi is finally in bed but still trying to stall and begs for a drink of water because “it is a desert in here!” They say it over and over again, it never stops being funny. I think they really like it because I do the mom voice so well. Great book, good fun.
To find out if this book is at your public library, visit World Cat.
To learn more about Sarah Maizes, visit her website.
Illustrator Michael Paraskevas also has his own website.