Bedtime Ba-a-a-lk


32 pages
ISBN 0-7737-3068-0
DDC jC813'.54




Illustrations by Kristi Frost
Reviewed by Steve Pitt

Steve Pitt is a Toronto-based freelance writer and an award-winning journalist. He has written many young adult and children's books, including Day of the Flying Fox: The True Story of World War II Pilot Charley Fox.


A tired little girl wants go to sleep but there is mutinous mutton
afoot. Her dream sheep refuse to leap over the fence and be counted.
“Why should we?” asks their spokesheep, an ornery old ram.
“What’s in store? It’s dark on the far side of the fence. Light it
up so we can see where we go.” Desperate to get on with the sheep
counting, the little girl obliges. She imagines a meadow with clover and
buttercups. “But what about the sky?” the old ram says next.
“Where is the sun?” Again and again the little girl gives in, only
to be met with further demands. Eventually the little girl gives the
sheep everything they want, and even throws in a Ferris wheel for them
to ride, but still they refuse to leap. What’s a little girl to do?
Wham! In the blink of an eye, the stubborn sheep are history and
replaced by a flock that does what it is told.

And there you have an example of conflict resolution in the 1990s.
Although the author’s protagonist plays hardball, she makes the sheep
so deliciously annoying that the reader has absolutely no regrets at
seeing them get theirs at the end.

Illustrator Kristi Frost’s renderings of the sheep are hysterical.
The grouchy old ram, complete with monocle and pursed mouth full of bad
teeth, definitely steals the show. Highly recommended.


Khan, Rukhsana., “Bedtime Ba-a-a-lk,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 25, 2024,