A small girl is keen to prolong the pre-bedtime fun with Mum. Interspersed with every-night tasks like cleaning teeth there are familiar games to play and cuddles to share. Mum and daughter make their way towards sleep time enthusiastically. The action moves from the bathroom to the bedroom and through story-time, drawn on by the regular refrain of ‘squeezy cuddle dangly legs’. The type of cuddle varies, but each is warmly given and received. The end is inevitable as the girl snuggles into her bed, secure in her mother’s love.
Bedtime rituals are often a memorable part of childhood. Children will recognise most of the games in Squeezy Cuddle Dangly Legs and want to share in them. There is enough detail for those unfamiliar with the games to also join in. Peter Whitfield’s text is very simple and the refrain of the title strongly featured. Jacqui Grantford’s illustrations are photo-realist, warm and almost cuddly in themselves. An obviously well-loved soft-toy dog accompanies the girl and her mother on every opening. This dog dances across the endpapers, travelling from wakefulness to sleep. There is plenty of white space on each opening, keeping the focus on the relationship between mother and child. It is easy to imagine children wanting to read this story again and again, sharing the games within and adding their own variations.
Recommended for 2-5 year olds.
Squeezy Cuddle Dangly Legs, by Peter Whitfield ill Jacqui Grantford
New Frontier, 2007