In some people’s eyes, Mem Fox can do no wrong. In other’s, she can do no right.
My opinion has always landed somewhere in the middle – I love and adore some of her books, while others fall flat.
I will always remember being introduced to her work for the first time at uni via a video of her retelling the story of The Little Match Girl.
There was not a dry eye in the house. And I left that room determined to learn how to become a great storyteller too. I wanted the children in my classes to be moved by stories too.
I loved Possum Magic and Wilfred, Gordon, McDonald Partridge, but never enjoyed reading them out loud to a class. I was sceptical about Koala Lou, until I read it out loud to a class that fell in love with it so completely, that I had to reread it hundreds of times throughout the year!
And I have always loved reading Hattie and the Fox, Where is the Green Sheep and Tough Boris out loud.
For me the misses include The Magic Hat, A Giraffe in the Bath and Where the Giant Sleeps.
However, with Good Night, Sleep Tight, I believe that Fox has once again hit on a winning formula. Teaming up with illustrator Judy Horacek again just adds an extra big tick in her favour.
Good Night, Sleep Tight is about a young man babysitting two young children. As he gets them ready for bedtime, they ask for a story. Each time, he tells them another traditional nursery rhyme, as they get closer and closer to being ready for bed.
I haven’t read this one out loud yet to a group of young children, but it has all the right ingredients.
Published in October through Scholastic Australia.