Change the World Before Bedtime (2nd Edition), a collaboration by Mark Kimball Moulton, Josh Chalmers, and Karen Good (October 2018, Schiffer Publishing). $16.99, ISBN: 9780764355813
Recommended for ages 4-8
An updated version of the 2014 book – one of my favorite go-tos for storytime and class visits – gives kids even more ways to be a positive force for change in the world. The rhyming story encourages self-care – eating healthy, dreaming your dreams, surrounding yourself with friends – to get the energy to spread happiness and goodwill by performing good deeds. The book encourages kids to make friends and include everyone; donate time and raise money to help those less fortunate, and take care of the earth by recycling and composting. Other new additions include added back matter, where kids can add their good deeds to-do list and their own “happy word” clouds; there are happy words from around the world, including Swahili, Hebrew, Haitian Creole, and Romanian. There’s a superhero cape activity that encourages kids to decorate a pillowcase cape, mapping to a spread in the book where kids wear their own superhero capes. There are suggestions for adult-kid collaboration, and updated endpapers encourage kids to make their own bookplate at the front of the book; a smiling earth says “Thank you” in a variety of different languages at the close.
The art is adorable, the message is upbeat and optimistic, and the message is clear: everyone has the ability to make positive changes in our world.
Change the World Before Bedtime is a good book to add to your activism/social justice collections. Display, booktalk, and read with The Smallest Girl in the Smallest Grade by Justin Roberts and Christian Robinson; Pass it On by Sophy Henn; 10 Things I Can Do To Help My World, by Melanie Walsh, and Maybe Something Beautiful by Isabel Campoy and Theresa Howell.
Change the World Before Bedtime, a collaboration by Mark Kimball Moulton, Josh Chalmers, and Karen Good (Schiffer Publishing, 2012). $16.99, ISBN: 978-0764342387
Recommended for ages 4-8
For all the kids out there tired of being told that they’re too young to affect change, Change the World Before Bedtime is a primer on everything anyone, big or small, can do to bring about positive change in their world. The book takes place over the course of a day, with a group of children making positive decisions and taking positive actions to brighten the world around them. By tying on their “hero capes” and eating a healthy breakfast, they prepare for a day of random good deeds, like picking up litter, visiting a sick friend or family member, donating clothing, toys, and food to the needy, and just thinking and saying happy thoughts and words.
The book features multicultural images and the artwork incorporates some great collage work. The images remind me of Joan Walsh Anglund’s illustrations that I loved, growing up. The rhyming text makes this a fun read-aloud, particularly to 5-6 year olds who may have a better grasp on activism. Positive messages, like “recycle” and “one beautiful world”, are emphasized throughout the book, as are images including composting, teamwork, manners, and environmental awareness. The last page of the book asks the children to write their “bright ideas to change the world before bedtime”, and the endpapers look like pieces of looseleaf paper, encouraging the children to keep writing.
The book’s optimistic tone and beautiful imagery will motivate children and adults alike to do something right away! There’s no need to wait for Earth Day to come around again – there’s always something to do to change the world.
Change the World Before Bedtime received the 2012 Gold Medal Award from the Mom’s Choice Awards.