Ten minutes to bed Little Dinosaur by Rhiannon Fielding
Illus. by Chris Chatterton. Penguin Random House UK, 2020. ISBN:
(Ages: 2-5) This is a new title in a series of Ten Minutes to Bed books (including Little Monster and Little Mermaid). It's an overt bedtime story set in The Land of Nod (the endpapers show a map of the land and where each of the characters live) and is similar in concept to other books about bedtime reluctance such as Play and I Am Not Sleepy and I Will Not Go to Bed. In addition, a counting element is included as it counts down the minutes until bedtime from ten to one. 'Ten minutes to bed!' Mum tells Rumble. But Rumble just loves to have fun. So off he thunders, sending birds and frogs hopping and fluttering, splashing about in the mud and running all the way to an erupting volcano. 'Five minutes' say all the dinosaurs racing past him in a rush to escape the lava. 'Four minutes to bed . . . but where am I, I wonder?', he says when he finds a safe place to rest. It's rainy and thundery and getting dark when a shadow appears. It's Mum, come to take him home. 'Two minutes,' she said. 'You are never alone.' Before the last minute is even done, Rumble is in bed and fast asleep, snoring.
Rumble's romping journey will delight young ones, who will see in the illustrations the progression from sunset light to moonlight. The mountain forest where the dinosaurs live is vivid and magical and the depiction of light will cleverly calm and soothe children (glowing lights within the forest, moon and shimmering stars). There is a nice message here for children about being responsible and in control of their own body and winding down for sleep. Little Dinosaur seems to pay no attention to the countdown but by the end of the ten minutes he is already asleep. It may even help some younger children to set in place their own countdown to bedtime and assist with an understanding of self-settling. Themes: Bedtime, Counting Book, Rhyming Book, Dinosaurs.