A quick note, if you’ll indulge me. I have been gone for a few days, thanks to the lupus. The fatigue alone was, well, tiring. The disease in unpredictable in many ways, especially when it will cause trouble. Nothing to fret about, but I didn’t want you to think I’d abandoned ship.
I am excited to be back. There are several superb books waiting their turn. A couple of the middle grade books are brilliant. The next book in the queue is a picture book. If you like witches and things that go bump in the night, you will love this next book.
Hildie Bitterpickles Needs Her Sleep
Written by Robin Newman
Illustrated by Chris Ewald
Creston Books 4/12/2016
32 pages Ages 4—8
“How can a weary witch get any sleep when a blind mice construction crew and bleating black sheep move in? Dealing with noisy neighbors is anything but a fairy tale.” [back cover]
Hildie Bitterpickles and her cat, Clawdia, need their sleep. But when a giant moves in next door, with an especially noisy elevator, neither Hildie nor Clawdia get any rest. Then, an Old Lady and her “gazillion” kids join the neighborhood. You can imagine the noise a gazillion kids will make. To top things off, a wolf with a pig problem shows up. Finding an ad in “The Daily Witch,” Hildie decides to move.
“Are your neighbors driving you nuts?
Was the roof of your house recently blown off?
Monty, the rat, can find you the home of your dreams or nightmares.
Stop by or call 1-888-RAT-REALTY.
Over 3 weeks of experience.
Specialty: Witch properties.
Customer Satisfaction guaranteed.”
Monty, the real estate rat, finds new homes for Hildie and Clawdia, but between snoring black sheep and three blind repair mice working the night shift, Hildie still cannot sleep. What will Hildie do?
Hildie puts away her spell book, brushes her teeth, and hops into bed all without a fuss—until the noise begins—reinforcing good habits parents love. Then, with no options left, Hildie deals with her new neighbors, finding solutions that satisfy all concerned with compassion and respect. Don’t mistake this as a message story, it’s not. Newman’s smooth writing, effective use of onomatopoeia and repetition, and clever plotting, will make Hildie Bitterpickles Needs Her Sleep a fan favorite because of the story.
Ewald’s use of purple is perfect for both witches and nighttime stories. The debut illustrator’s digitally created characters and settings are visually appealing and contain wonderful details. Even the end pages add to the story. The front show a spell book, open as if trying out a new spell. The back has a bright moon and stars set against a dark-blue night sky, signifying sleep. Children will love the expressive characters. I didn’t count them, but I am betting most everyone’s favorite fairy tale character is in one of these delightful spreads. Did I mention this is Ewald first children’s book? I think he has found his calling.
Newman and Ewald have created an adorable, original story both children and parents will love. Kids will instantly relate to Hildie Bitterpickles Needs Her Sleep thanks to the addition of so many of their favorite fairy tale characters. Children won’t wonder why the giant has a beanstalk elevator, or why the sheep are black and the mice blind; they will get the jokes. Reading Hildie Bitterpickles Needs Her Sleep will make bedtime a more enjoyable experience.
Next up for Newman and Ewald: No Peacocks! (Sky Pony Press) Fall 2017
This Trailer is Fantastic!!
This should be made into a Short Film. Hildie would rival Room on the Broom.
HILDIE BITTERPICKLES NEEDS HER SLEEP. Text copyright © 2016 by Robin Newman. Illustrations copyright © 2016 by Chris Ewald. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Creston Books, New York, NY.
HILDIE BITTERPICKLES NEEDS HER SLEEP. Illustrations © 2016 by Chris Ewald. Used by permission of Creston Books.
Copyright © 2016 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved
Full Disclosure: Hildie Bitterpickles Needs Her Sleep by Robin Newman & Chris Ewald, and received from Creston Books, is in exchange NOT for a positive review, but for an HONEST review. The opinions expressed are my own and no one else’s. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”