PICTURE BOOK FICTION REVIEWS : Ella's Night Lights by Lucy Fleming & Bedtime for Albie by Sophie Ambrose

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Nestled in a little nook in an old oak tree is a tiny girl named Ella. Ella loves light, but must be sure to avoid the sun because of her delicate wings. Flittering about at night, she collects light from everything that glows and glimmers in the darkness, always making sure to share the light she gathers with those who need it most. Until one day, when her animal friends decide it’s their turn to give back—with a creative plan that just may make Ella’s dream of seeing the sun come true. New York Times best-selling illustrator Lucy Fleming’s author-illustrator debut is a sweet story about the power of giving to others and celebrating our friends, as well as a reminder that we all have a light within us that is worthy of being shared.
Adorable in both story and illustrations, Ella's Night Lights tells the tale of a tiny fairy-like girl who comes out at night to gather light and share it with those in need.   Ella shares her light with a fox who becomes a dear friend and her light helps a young owl learn to fly.  Ella's forest friends gather together to make Ella's dearest wish come true.  She wants to see the sunrise, but he delicate wings can't handle the sunlight.  Ella's friends find a way to share back with her some of the 'light' that she has given them.  This is a tender story of giving and loving, friendship and service.  Fleming's illustrations delightfully depict Ella's goodness and her friend's efforts to return her kindness.  The sparkles make the light being shared jump out at the reader.  This book is a sweet and tender story of friendship and the power of kindness and goodness.

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All the animals know it's time to go to sleep--except Albie! A bedtime story for everyone who wants to stay up and play.

"Bedtime? Not now!
It's time for rolling and jumping,
sniffling and snuffling. Not bedtime!"

The sun is sinking low over the savanna, and all the animals are getting ready to go to sleep. But when Albie the warthog's mother calls him to bed, Albie dashes off to play instead. Will the cheetahs run a race with him? Not now--they're getting a bedtime story. Will the elephants play Splish and Splash? Not now--they're having their bedtime shower. Will the meerkats see who can dig the deepest hole? Not now, Albie! They're very sleepy. Albie can't find anyone to play with, and it's getting darker by the minute. Luckily, his mother might just have the most fun idea of all--a squishy mud bath before bed! Spirited illustrations and a relatable main character will make this story a fun addition to young readers' own bedtime routines.
Albie, a young warthog, isn't ready to go to bed.  He's too busy chasing butterflies and rolling in the dirt.  When his mother invites him to get ready for bed, he runs off to find someone to play with him.  But the cheetahs, elephants, and meerkats are all getting ready for bed. After brief encounters with a snake and owl, Albie decides he's ready to find his mother and go to bed, but first he must have his bath, a mud bath that is.  The watercolor and colored pencil illustrations highlight the enthusiasm and carefree antics of young Albie.  While he runs away from his mother, the other savanna animals help keep track of him as he frolics.  Young listeners are bound to bounce along with Albie as he seeks to avoid bedtime but eventually succumbs.  A fun picture book about the antics that many parents and children will enjoy.


  1. Both books sound heart-warming and wonderful. I love the covers. Congratulations, Lucy and Sophie!


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