Lucy Can’t Sleep by Amy Schwartz
Lucy is in bed, but she just can’t fall asleep. First, she tries counting sheep and other animals, but that doesn’t work. So she climbs out of bed, puts on a sweater, stretches and wiggles. Then she heads out of her room to try and find her doll and bear. There they are in a chair downstairs. Lucy then heads to the kitchen and rummages in the fridge for a snack. She finds chocolate pudding and strawberry shortcake. Everything is very quiet in her house. Outside there is a squeaky door, a porch swing, and a radio playing. Then Lucy’s dog appears and they head inside. But Lucy isn’t quite ready for bed yet.
There is something old-fashioned and infinitely gentle about this book. Lucy’s parents never awaken to find her out of bed, instead she putters around on her own with no fear of the dark, of the quiet or of being alone. There is a great feeling of safety in this book with nothing startling or alarming in the least. It is a welcome difference from many picture books.
Schwartz’s writing is done in stanzas with repetition and rhythm making it into a poem. This makes it a great book for toddlers. Her art is filled with small details of Lucy’s life and home. It is all about warmth, familiarity and the small touches that mark a family’s life.
Safe, sweet nighttime adventures will have young listeners enjoying Lucy and her escapades out of bed. It will also make a nice addition to bedtime stories and story times. Appropriate for ages 2-4.
Reviewed from copy received from Roaring Brook Press.