It’s Time to Sleep, It’s Time to Dream

It’s Time to Sleep, It’s Time to Dream by David A. Adler, illustrated by Kay Chorao

This gentle picture book has two parallel stories. One follows the words of the book and gently rocks and sways its way to slumber.  It moves season by season until winter comes and it is truly time to sleep.  Done in beautiful paintings by Chorao, there is sweetness and happiness and bliss throughout.  A different story, more familiar to parents of tiny ones, is told in silhouette one each page.  A toddler doesn’t want to sleep as his parents rock him, trade back and forth, put him to bed, sneak out, and then have to return to get him to sleep.  These small black images keep the book from being too sweet and offer an alternative view of what it’s really like to get a child to sleep.

The text here by Adler is wonderful.  His use of repetition, rhythm and phrasing is masterful, ideal for toddlers.  It creates its own lullaby, a rocking sensation, a sway which is hard to find in bedtime books.  Chorao’s illustrations are equally successful, showing the passing seasons, each captured in loving paintings, but also taking joy in the more lifelike silhouetted story going on at the bottom of the page.  

A great gift for new babies, this book will be treasured by any family lucky enough to read it at bedtime.  It is a quiet, sweet book not intended for the romp of a story time.  Appropriate for babies to 2 year olds. 

Lucky Breaks

Lucky Breaks by Susan Patron

This second Lucky book follows the Newbery Award winning, The Higher Power of Lucky.  One worries about a second attempt to catch magic but there need be no worries here.  Patron has again captured the essence of a tiny town, its diverse inhabitants, and at the same time the longings of a young girl.  Lucky is now almost eleven, an age that she feels has infinite potential.  Much more so than ten.  She is ready to become “intrepid” and have adventures.  But she is still stuck in Hard Pan and her friends don’t seem to be changing.  Lincoln is still obsessed with knots and Miles with being almost 6 himself.  When a group of scientists enter Brigitte’s cafe, there is a girl just Lucky’s age with them.  After a few stilted glances, Paloma and Lucky become fast friends.  But Lucky still yearns for adventure especially in her no-danger small town.

Just as charmingly written as the first, this book is the perfect companion novel.  Lucky remains as strong a character surrounded by others who are written with equal clarity and strength.  Patron writes with a subtle humor that is a delight to read.  Just as with the first book, this would make an exceptional classroom read with plenty to discuss together. 

I loved visiting Hard Pan again and seeing all of my old friends.  A wonderful second book, I look forward to the third which will complete the series.  Appropriate for ages 9-12.