No author listed, Nighty-Night (Bendon Publishing, 2011)
Just when I think Bendon Publishing, the Ohio company who publishes the Sesame Beginnings series, has finally started getting it right, they come out with something like this. I have to admit Nighty-Night is the bean’s favorite of the Sesame Beginnings books, but I’m often reluctant to read it to him because as a piece of writing, it’s simply dreadful. There’s absolutely no way to make this page scan, poetically:
“When it’s time for bed,
Big Bird can sleep almost anywhere.
As long as he always has
His favorite teddy bear.”
No matter how I try to break that third line, it doesn’t make any sense given the rhythm of the first two (which it took me over a week to puzzle out, reading it aloud twice a night). For the record, if it matters, most of the rest of the book is in anapestic tetrameter, which is very common for rhyming pre-lit books. But the above is wonderful compared to the last page:
“Now it’s time for you to say ‘nighty-night.’ What will you snuggle with as we turn out the light?”
I’m not even going to try and break that arrhythmic disaster into lines.
Two stars because, as I said, the kid digs it, and he’s the final arbiter of pre-lit. But as poetry, it’s terrible. **