A Book of Sleep

A Book of Sleep by Il Sung Na

The simple prose of this night-time picture book is made magnificent by its illustrations.  Owl is awake alone all night and watches all sorts of beasts sleep through the darkness.  Every creature sleeps differently even though they are all asleep at night.  Then when dawn comes, everyone else wakes up while owl falls asleep. 

According to the blurb in the book, the illustrations are a combination of handmade painterly textures with digitally generated layers compiled in Adobe Photoshop.  The result is complex and lovely.  The illustrations are filled with repeating motifs, patterns used as shadows, grass and skies.  They are large and while not bright-colored, they will project well for use with a group of children. 

Inspiring art in a simple picture book, this book is perfect bedtime reading for toddlers where the adults will enjoy lingering on each page just as much as the child.  Appropriate for ages 2-5.

Reviewed from copy received from publisher.

The Yellow Tutu

The Yellow Tutu by Kirsten Bramsen, illustrated by Carin Bramsen

For her birthday, Margo got a bright yellow tutu.  First she wore it around her waist and danced a bit, but then she had a brilliant idea and put it on her head instead!  Since it was a school day, she headed off to school with the tutu still on.  She looked like the sun, making flowers grow bigger, grass grow longer.  And she imagined what the others at school would say when they saw her, certain that they would be amazed and impressed.  But no.  Instead the other kids laughed, teased, and tried to tug it off!  In the end, Margo found another girl who was happy to put a pink tutu on and be flowers together.

This sister team has created a book that really speaks to imagination and individuality.  Margo is a sparkling character with bright eyes, great ideas, and lots of spunk.  Kirsten has written a book that nicely explains the imaginative process and what Margo is thinking.  Carin’s illustrations are soft-edged but not too sweet.  The dancing theme because of the tutu is secondary to the book, instead it is really about finding a new and innovative use for an item and also finding a friend.

Perfect for any imaginative child who views his or her world through a slightly different lens.   Appropriate for ages 4-6.

Reviewed from copy received from publisher.

Also reviewed at PlanetEsme.