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


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.

In the Margins 2014 Nominees

In the Margins which falls under the Library Services for Youth in Custody, is a book list for teens that showcases self-published and small press titles by and about people in poverty or living in the margins.  Books from large publishers are also considered as long as they fit into the focus of the list. 

Here are the 2014 nominees to date.  New titles will still be considered and teen feedback will be part of creating the final list.

Caged Warrior The Griots of Oakland: Voices from the African American Oral History Project

Caged Warrior by Alan Lawrence Sitomer

The Griots of Oakland by Angela Beth Zusman

Left For Dead The Lure

Left for Dead by Ebony Canion

The Lure by Lynne Ewing

Rabbit Ears When I Was the Greatest

Rabbit Ears by Maggie De Vries

When I Was the Greatest by Jason Reynolds