Tag Archive: sleeping


sleepyheads

Sleepyheads by Sandra J. Howatt, illustratedc by Joyce Wan

Head out on a journey in the night to find out where different creatures are sleeping.  Each one is tucked into the space they like best at bedtime.  There is the bear in his cave, the otter rocking back in the water, the pig in the hay, and many more.  Then the owl is on the page, not sleepy at all.  The book then turns to the house and the pets sleeping, but the little human bed is empty!  Where can that last little sleepyhead be?  Safe asleep in Mama’s arms. 

Simple and beautiful, this book has a gentle rhyme that soothes also with a rhythm that is like rocking to sleep.  Young listeners will get to identify the different animals as the pages turn, since the book leaves that up to the reader.  The quiet mystery of where the last sleepyhead is found is a wonderful little twist at the end, just right as children snuggle down to their own beds.

Wan’s art is dark and beautiful.  The night is lit with fireflies and the moon, the darkness deep and velvety but not frightening at all.  As the reader visits each dark page, there is always a source of light beyond that in the sky so that the characters themselves shine on the page. 

A wonderful bedtime read, this one shines with moonlight and dreams.  Appropriate for ages 1-3.

Reviewed from copy received from Beach Lane Books.

chengdu

Chengdu Could Not, Would Not, Fall Asleep by Barney Saltzberg

Chengdu is a young panda who is having problems falling asleep.  Unlike all of the other pandas who are sleeping soundly on nearby branches, Chengdu just can not drop off to sleep.  He tosses and turns.  He tries different positions, even hanging upside down!  It takes him awhile, but he finally finds a perfect spot, and one that will surprise and delight readers.  But then, another little panda finds himself awake and what is he to do?

Saltzberg brings readers a clever and funny story of a little animal who cannot fall asleep.  The text is very simple and paired with large format illustrations that sometimes just features Chengdu’s eyes and other times show the very tired little panda looking straight at the reader in despair.  The resolution of Chengdu’s dilemma is very funny and satisfying.  It is guaranteed to get a giggle or two even from the sleepiest of listeners.

An ideal bedtime story, this book will have the littlest listeners happy and sleepy.  Appropriate for ages 2-4.

Reviewed from library copy.

tippy and the night parade

Tippy and the Night Parade by Lilli Carre

Released February 11, 2014.

In the morning when she wakes up, Tippy’s room is a complete mess.  But all Tippy remembers is falling asleep, how did this all happen?  The next night, she goes to bed as usual after cleaning up her room.  And then readers get to see exactly what happens when Tippy goes sleepwalking along a pier, across the garden, hopping on lily pads, lost in the fog and trees, down a hole, into the desert, up a mountain and back down to her window.  Just to wake up the next morning again without knowing what happened.

Carre lets her images tell the majority of the story in her debut graphic novel.  And the images are a smart mix of modern with a vintage flair.  They have a flatness to them that adds a quirky quality to the book.  They also have a great sense of humor as the parade builds in length and more animals are included.  My particular favorite is the rotund bear.  And what a parade it is, sharp-eyed readers will enjoy looking at the mess in her room and matching the animals that had joined her walk back home.

Funny and quirky, this parade is one worth marching along with.  Appropriate for ages 4-6.

Reviewed from copy received from Toon Books.

night sounds

Night Sounds by Javier Sobrino, illustrated by Emilio Urberuaga

When the animals of the rain forest head to sleep, they are awakened by noises coming from a box.  The sound just goes on and on, “Wuaah, wuaah, wuaaah.”  Something is crying and won’t be easily comforted.  The animals do try to get it to be quiet, offering a blanket, water, and a doll.  But the crying only stops for a little while and then starts up again and again.  Finally Tiger heads off to find the mother.  Then the identity of the crier is revealed finally but there is more crying to come in a clever twist at the end.

Translated from the original Spanish, Sobrino does a great job of keeping readers guessing about the identity of who is crying in the box.  As each new sets of cries starts, their sounds change slightly and add variety to the book.  The structure of the book is based on repetition with some changes along the way.  It makes for a book that will work well for very small children but also has plenty of surprises for older preschoolers as well.

Urberuaga’s illustrations are filled with deep, rich colors.  They evoke the night beautifully and the animals sleepy eyes and lack of smiles show how very tired they are.  The reveal is cleverly done without any real visual hints, allowing it to be a complete surprise.

Great fun, this book could be made into reader’s theater with younger children and will also make a great bedtime story as long as a blanket, water and doll are provided ahead of time.  Appropriate for ages 2-5.

Reviewed from library copy.

sleep like a tiger

Sleep Like a Tiger by Mary Logue, illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski

This is the story of a little girl who just wasn’t sleepy at bedtime.  Her parents agreed that she didn’t have to head right to bed, but she did have to put on her pajamas.  Then she had to wash her face, and that felt good.  She climbed into bed, because she loved the feeling of the sheets.  Then she asked about whether everything in the world sleeps.  Her parents explain that yes, like the dog being asleep on the couch where he shouldn’t be.  The book turns to explain about different animals and how they sleep from the upside down bats to floating whales to hibernating bears.  After talking, her parents let her stay awake in her bed.  The little girl begins to sleep like each of the animals, curling up like the dog, folding her arms like bat wings, finding the warmest spot like a cat.  Until finally, she is asleep like the strong tiger.

Oh what a bedtime story!  I had heard great things about this book and at first saw beautiful illustrations and a fairly normal story, but that changes and becomes something very special.  Once the little girl is in bed and talking about the animals, the language becomes more poetic and filled with imagery.  It is warm, cozy and infinitely inviting.

Zagarenski’s illustrations have a richness about them that enhances this bedtime tale.  Thanks to the golden crowns, they have an illuminated manuscript feel.  There is plenty of texture and pattern, but also a modern zing to the illustrations.  They are entirely winning.

This glorious bedtime story is a real treat to read aloud.  Get your own jammies on and cuddle up, I promise you will be dozing in no time, just like a tiger.  Appropriate for ages 3-5.

Reviewed from library copy.

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