My Bedtime Monster is an interesting picture book. It was originally published in German in 1990. The English translation was published by minedition in 2014. It was written by Annelies Schwarz.
This book doesn’t quite fit into my understanding of a picture book. It has text. It has illustrations. They work together somewhat to tell the events of the story, so I guess that part of the definition is satisfied.
It has a protagonist, a little girl named Rikki. She has a problem – she wants a pet that can be small and large, soft and cuddly and quick and strong. She wants it to run, fly, swim and dive beneath the waves.
The rest of the book tells about such a pet coming to her in the night. Was this a dream? The adult in me says it must be. But that is neither affirmed nor denied in the book. The next day Rikki awakes, talks to her mother and begins her day. The End.
I don’t see where Rikki grows, learns or changes through the events of the book. It’s simply a series of events to me.
Now for the art.
The dust jacket says about “Celebrated artist Kvĕta Pacovská” that “her bold colors and stunning use of strong geometric shapes are instantly recognizable.” During her 60 years career her art has won many prestigious awards.
Obviously I’m not a sophisticated appreciator of fine art, but, I don’t like her art. At all. But I’ve never appreciated a collection of bold, colorful unrelated objects on a canvas.
The art IS bold. It IS geometric. It has little rectangles of shiny foil (they are gray in the photo above) sprinkled throughout it. And it has bits and pieces (like a collage) of calendar pages and small pieces of what appear to be a newspaper or maybe a telephone directory. I don’t see the significance of any of these.
I’m sure My Bedtime Monster is wildly popular. I hope it’s a smashing success.
But I won’t be sharing it with my grandchildren.