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.