The days are getting longer. They are also richer with interesting and fun activities for little ones. But long, exciting days also mean that settling down for the night can be harder. God Bless You & Good Night, written by Hannah C. Hall, illustrated by Steve Whitlow and published by Thomas Nelson, Inc. (2013) may help you with family bedtime.

Animals such as the tall giraffe of Africa, the roly-poly polar bears of the Arctic and the bouncy kangaroos of Australia are getting ready for bed. They are cuddling, snacking, saying prayers, taking baths, singing lullabies and more.

The book’s rhyme is sweet and very readable. There is a nice sprinkling of vivid action verbs among the more cozy, sleepytime words. There are lots of references to being loved and cared for, as well as several mentions of God. The friendly illustrations will charm little ones. The baby animals and their parents look like they are enjoying their special bedtime routines. In addition, Whitlow makes a brilliant choice of using a soft, sparkling night sky in every background.

Nancy Ellen Hird is a mom, a writer and a credentialed teacher. (She taught seventh grade and preschool.) Two of her published works for children are Marty’s Monster and Jessica Jacobs Did What?  Her latest work is I Get a Clue, a mystery novel for girls 10-13. For several years she was a freelance reviewer of children’s and teen’s literature for the Focus on the Family website.