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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
There is a reason for doing things a certain way. Sometimes it’s difficult for young people to understand why they must follow so-called rules, like going to bed at a specific time each night. Even adults have trouble understanding the need to go to bed at a reasonable time and get enough sleep. In Ryan Daniels: Good Night, Firefly by Ada Aguilar, Ryan hates going to sleep. It is such a waste of time and boring! There is so much else he’d rather be doing than sleeping, but it’s essential to maintain a strict routine. It takes a magical firefly, Ozkar, and a trip to a beautiful and magical kingdom, for Ryan to understand why he should go to sleep when his mother tells him. Ozkar knows just how to explain it to help Ryan understand that he will have more energy to run faster, will feel better so he can play with his friends longer, and be able to think clearly and do better in school.
Ada Aguilar’s picture book, Ryan Daniels: Good Night, Firefly, is an endearing story about a young boy who doesn’t want to go to sleep. He tries to conjure up all kinds of excuses to avoid the inevitable long night ahead surrounded by silence and darkness and, yes, sleep. He wants to brush his teeth, get a glass of milk, and make sure things are safe around the house, but his mother repeatedly assures him that he’s already done all those things and that now it’s time to go to sleep. The ever-active mind of this young boy has other ideas, and his journey through the night becomes one of magic, adventure, and important lessons about getting a good night’s sleep. The language is simple to help young readers follow along easily, and the bright and bold illustrations add another dimension to this exciting story. Funny and sincere, it is both entertaining and educational.