The Nuts: Bedtime at the Nut House, by Eric Litwin

BookendsCindy: And you think bedtime at your house is nuts??? Check out The Nuts: Bedtime at the Nut House (Little, Brown 2014) for a reality check! Before you do anything else, though, watch the Bedtime at the Nuthouse video above. Now, imagine a room full of librarians singing this song and pointing their fingers like Mama Nut with Eric Litwin leading on guitar. This is why adult book authors are jealous of children’s book peeps. We are nuts and we show it in fun ways. It’s fitting that this nutty picture book is being promoted by the biggest library book marketing nut around. Yes, Victoria Stapleton, we are pointing our fingers at you now! But I digress. Back to the book.

This is why adult book authors are
jealous of children’s book peeps.

It’s bedtime at the nuthouse and Mama Nut sings, “All little Nuts need to go up to bed.” Hazel Nut and Wally Nut act completely out of character for children at bedtime (wink, wink) and ignore their mama. Mama uses a bigger and bigger voice without compliance as the children keep playing and singing and she finally uses her BIGGEST voice: “All little Nuts need to go up to bed!”

Bedtime at the Nut HouseAn arrow pointing at mama’s now-red cheeks says “Roasted Chestnut,” only one of the nutty puns found throughout the pages. A Nutvana rock poster hangs above Wally Nut’s bed. Naughty little nuts will be soothed by the book’s reassuring conclusion. Hazel asks her angry mama, “Are we still your sweet little Nuts?” Big Mama Nut replies, “No matter what, you will always be my sweet little Nuts.” The Nut Family website has many other fun pages to explore, including a page of related activities. We can all go NUTS!

Lynn: I think Eric Litwin has been spying on my house full of grandsons and sleepovers this summer! That is definitely me begging for bedtime with increasing desperation. One of the many things I love about this book is the bedtime-delaying little nuts are enjoying their time with imaginative play—no TV or computer game little zombie nuts here.

Scott Magoon’s nutty illustrations are as imaginative as the characters’ play too. The nuts are mostly big round circles with teeny little arms and legs and it’s amazingly quite “nuticable” how much personality he creates with these simple forms. A bright palette adds to the attraction of this fun book. Sure to induce a lot of giggles, here’s a nutty bedtime story you shouldn’t miss.

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About the Author:

Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan are Booklist reviewers and middle-school librarians who have chaired both ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults and the Michael L. Printz Award for YA Literature committees. Follow Bookends on Twitter at @BookendsBlog. You can also find Cindy at @cdobrez and Lynn at @482april.

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