Bedtime for Batman Successfully Reaches Younger Superheroes

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Bedtime for Batman

Would you believe that bedtime could be the start of a great adventure?

That's the underlying theme of BEDTIME FOR BATMAN, the picture book from Michael Dahl and Ethen Beavers that tells two parallel stories using the same set of text and contrasted images.

On one page, you see the young protagonist, as he makes his preparations for the night. On the other page, there is Batman. For the boy, the signal is the clock (cleverly drawn), while for Batman the signal is the spotlight that shines his symbol on the clouds. Both have to clean things up and lock things away, and the juxtaposition of the images is genius -- and engaging -- turning bedtime into adventure time.

Ethen Beavers bases his Batman characters on the classic Bruce Timm animated series, making them far more accessible to younger readers. The sentences are simple but not simplistic; they're easy for young readers to parse, and challenge them to find how the meaning applies differently to the parallel images. Overall, it seems like a perfect bedtime story for budding superheroes.

So how successful is it? After reading it to my eight year old, I went to check on him later to cover him up, to find he had (at some point) got out of bed and pulled a pair of blue underwear up over his gray pajama pants. His cape was out of the closet and hanging on the bedpost.

It looks like I must have missed a great adventure.

Grade: 
5.0 / 5.0