Sleep, Little One, Sleep

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Overview

As the sun sets, a father puts his child to bed. Weaving images of mice, of birds, and of polar bears, he tells her that sleep nibbles the last crumb of day; sleep gathers her beneath its feathery wings; and that sleep holds her tight in the furry dark. And as the images of sleep grow larger and larger, the father hopes that sleep will come to his child very soon.
In this glorious companion to If You Were Born a Kitten, Marion Dane Bauer and JoEllen McAllister Stammen have ...

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Overview

As the sun sets, a father puts his child to bed. Weaving images of mice, of birds, and of polar bears, he tells her that sleep nibbles the last crumb of day; sleep gathers her beneath its feathery wings; and that sleep holds her tight in the furry dark. And as the images of sleep grow larger and larger, the father hopes that sleep will come to his child very soon.
In this glorious companion to If You Were Born a Kitten, Marion Dane Bauer and JoEllen McAllister Stammen have created a classic lullaby, as warm and loving as any child and parent at bedtime.

Sleepiness is compared to the actions of a spider, a mouse, a bird, and increasingly larger animals.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this companion volume to If You Were Born a Kitten, lambs graze in a moonlit meadow, a blue whale can be glimpsed through a haze of bubbles. "This lyrical, soporific book will help induce drowsiness in even the most active readers," said PW. Ages 1-4. (Sept.)
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This lyrical, soporific book will help induce drowsiness in even the most active readers. While this author-artist team explored what form birth takes for a variety of animals in If You Were Born a Kitten, for this companion volume they take a more abstract approach. Rather than describing how nature's inhabitants sleep, here sleep itself is personified via an array of animals: as a bird, when "Sleep gathers you beneath its feathery wings," and as a lamb that "grazes softly around your bed." The images ease readers and listeners from a visual world into an imaginary and tactile one. Stammen's (A Snow Story) pastel spreads eloquently give form to the metaphors: lambs graze in a moonlit meadow, a polar bear cradles its yawning young, a blue whale can be dimly glimpsed through a haze of bubbles. Occasionally the tone sounds more emphatic or cautionary than peaceful, as in the words accompanying a picture of a lumbering tortoise: "Be patient. Sleep will come,/ trudging closer, closer, careful and slow./ Just you wait!/ Just you wait!" And the final repetition, "Let it come./ Please... let it come!" seems to evoke the desperation of parents who've run out of ideas to lull their child to slumber. But a soothing tone of voice will smooth out such subtle changes in the mood of the text. Just like the little girl pictured in the closing pages riding on a polar bear, sweet dreams are sure to follow. Ages 1-4. (Sept.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1 The droopy-eared, yawning basset hound on the front cover captures a universal bedtime experience: an exhausted parent trying to lull a wide-awake youngster to slumber. The voice is actually a father's (not pictured until the end, nodding off in a rocking chair), and the lullaby has the flavor of a spontaneous song; it contains some quirky ideas, delightful language, and tranquil repetition. Sleep is first suggested by a small spider spinning a cradle web, then by a mouse who "nibbles the last crumbs of day." As the story continues, the animals increase in size, culminating with a polar bear and cubs, whose cuddling cannot be contained on a double-page spread. While the father dozes, daughter's eyes are open, gazing at the toy polar bear on her nightstand. Ultimately, she succumbs, dreaming of flights of fancy on the polar bear's back. Stammen's pastels on dark gray paper and the oversized format will draw attention and admiration in groups and on laps. The artist is quite adept at capturing the unique texture and character of each animal for an affectionate portrait. This is a welcome companion to the pair's If You Were Born a Kitten (S & S, 1997). Here, the tone is a bit more playful, the child a little older, but the warmth and security felt in the familial bond continue. Wendy Lukehart, Dauphin County Library, Harrisburg, PA Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780689852695
  • Publisher: Aladdin
  • Publication date: 9/28/2002
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 1 - 4 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.91 (w) x 11.99 (h) x 0.15 (d)

Meet the Author

Marion Dane Bauer is the author of many books for young readers, including the Newbery Honor book On My Honor and the New York Times bestseller My Mother Is Mine. Her other titles include A Mama for Owen, If You Were Born a Kitten, Grandmother's Song, and Thank You for Me! She has retired from the faculty of the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA program in Writing for Children and Young Adults where she was the first Faculty Chair. She lives in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, and can be reached at MarionDaneBauer.com.

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