My favorite book! I remember gazing at the pictures in this one so many times as a young child. It's so enjoyable reading it with my little one and seeing him love it too.
Tubby, the little pet elephant of Ah Mee, makes an enormous paper lantern for his birthday out of all the materials in the family's lantern business. They float over the land and sea all night with the star strewn sky as their backdrop.
In the morning their lantern goes out and begins to go down over the sea. They get rescued by a ship and then escape from pirates by using the steam from the ship to fly up and away and back home.
It's a simple story with just the right balance of excitement and calmness. Add to that the cute little elephant and dreamy blue and purple palette and you have the perfect bedtime story! (Oh, and at the end of the story Ah Mee makes a bunk bed for him and Tubby to share--a great idea in my son's opinion ;-)