Published By: Houghton Books For Children
Story: Mary Logue
Illustrations: Pamela Zagarenski
In a Sentence: Why must we have to sleep, at all?
What is it About: It’s time for bed, but the little girl doesn’t want to go to sleep. The princess is not tired, of course, as no self-respecting kid ever is. We see her having to go through the winding down bed time rituals, all the same. And again, once tucked in bed, she asks questions, of course, as any self-respecting kid must. She wants to know if everything in the world goes to sleep. Her parents tell her, as all (well, most, who’re already not struggling along the fine border between sanity and insanity by then) do, as lucidly as they can, whatever they know. But the question-barrage continues, as it must. What about Bats? Snails? Whales? Bears? Phew!
Do her questions end? Does she finally fall asleep? Grab this utterly beautiful book to find out!
Form and language: If prose were poetry, it’d be something like this. Sample this:
‘The little girl’s bed was warm
a cocoon of sheets,
a nest of blankets.’
Can it get more beautiful than this?
What makes it snuggly: It’s just the whole cozy, fuzzy, warm and snug feeling page after page. The text flows as gently as the dreamy illustrations that both soothe and blow your mind off (it’s a Caldecott Honor Book, after all!). And then the majestic mighty beast of the wild, the tiger (with its crown, to boot) seen in a most loving, tame, mild form – snoozing, cuddling a soft toy, and the little girl tucked in by its side.
What Stands Out: For me, besides the subtle humour, it’s the remarkably cool and patient parents whose reply to a ‘I’m still not sleepy’ is a calm ‘We know. You can stay awake all night long.’! 🙂 Or perhaps, it comes from years of being king and queen!
Will be best enjoyed by: 2+
Love Ratings (0-5)?
Ha Ha! Quotient: 4
Touches the heart: 5
Cuts through the clutter: 5
Visual appeal: 5
Encore Quotient: 5
Thank God it’s not moral science: 5
Show, don’t tell: 4
Hey, this is a really important book!: 4