Readers shepherd an independent bookstore through its end-of-day routine in the reverential and cozy rhyming bedtime book Good Night, Little Bookstore, written by Amy Cherrix (In the Shadow of the Moon) and illustrated by E.B. Goodale (Windows).
A woman checks her watch as she wheels a sidewalk book cart into Little Bookstore. "Good night, little bookstore. Time to close!" So begins the process of shutting down the bustling shop at the end of the day. A toddler reaches for one last picture book while adult patrons gather their purchases. Employees tidy books and bag the recycling as a tuxedo cat slinks among the shelves. A narrator issues "Good nights" all around the shop until finally a bookseller locks the door behind her. "Good night, little bookstores, near and far./ Dream big, dear readers, wherever you are."
The comforting cadence of the gentle rhymes along with the methodical closing of the Little Bookstore recall the reassuring tone of the Margaret Wise Brown classic. Cherrix, a former bookseller, employs concise text and onomatopoeic echoes that punctuate several illustrations. Goodale uses a variety of mediums including crayon and oil paint to deliver peaceful artwork with muted colors and warm undertones. She also utilizes shifts in perspective to lend an extra intimacy to the reading experience. Pages are dotted with satisfying details familiar to independent bookstore shoppers; readers might spot spoof covers nestled among the shelves and some may notice that the Little Bookstore looks an awful lot like Boston's now closed Curious George Store (there's even a man in a yellow suit!).
Children--and caregivers who shop locally--should delight in this charming peek into a beloved community space. --Kit Ballenger, youth librarian, Help Your Shelf