Created by the Australian author Margaret Hamilton and illustrator Anna Pignataro, “B is for Bedtime” is an alphabetic walk-through the daily bedtime routine as seen through a child’s eyes. Little readers will recognise themselves in every verse and illustration showing their usual evening acts, thoughts and rituals and calling out those familiar things that make the nursery room their comfort zone. This gives the book a timeless appeal and a kind of authenticity that make it a perfect bedtime companion.
My first reading of “B is for Bedtime” was a sweet nostalgic throwback to the toddlerhood of my child who was approaching teen years by the time this book was published. With bedtime routine changing as he grows up I found that some of it, like “A is Awake, how I feel after tea”, is still the same.
“B is for Bedtime” is Margaret Hamilton’s debut as a children’s author. She had a career in publishing and promoting quality children’s books that is second to none. She has been a librarian, a bookseller, director at the large publishing house (Hodder & Stoughton), an editor, reviewer and consultant. Together with Max Hamilton, they have established and ran a highly successful independent publishing business “Margaret Hamilton Books”, specialising in picture books. Margaret has served as the National President of Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA). For her contribution to children’s literature Margaret received the Order of Australia.
Margaret and Max Hamilton have also established “Pinerolo”, the children’s book cottage renown for its collection of over a thousand Australian picture books and a great (and largest in NSW) permanent exhibition of original children’s book illustrations by celebrated Australian artists. Situated off the grid of the hectic City in the beautiful region of Blue Mountains, Pinerolo is picture books lover’s Heaven on Earth! (read more about it here).
Anna Pignataro is an award-winning Australian illustrator who has created more than sixty children’s books. For the first book she has illustrated (“I’m in the sky and I can’t come back”, written by Holly Huth) Anna received the 1998 Crichton Award recognising new talent in the field of Australian children’s book illustration. Her latest book “The Heart of a Whale” was the winner of multiple awards including in the Children’s Picture Book Category of the 2020 International Book Awards.
In illustrating “B is for Bedtime” Anna used the medium of watercolor and collage and created an endearing visual story that fits the verses like a glove. I am so fond of Anna’s work that I sought to acquire some of her original artwork for my collection and have been lucky to secure a number of fab watercolor / collage illustrations for “B is for Bedtime” and its sequel “Counting Through the Day”. Earlier in 2019, I’ve put three “B is for Bedtime” vignette watercolours up for the “Authors for Fireys” auction and donated the raised proceeds to assist the bushfire affected regions, read more about the grateful new owners of these lovely little pieces here.
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