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It's time.

Bears, birds, cats, whales, oceans the earth itself must call it a day.

Just the time to pick out this book, climb on a lap, and listen.

Just the time to watch the light rise and fall at the corners of your eyes - to doze, to sigh, to say to this day, this one among many, shhhhhh shhhh good-bye.

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It's time.

Bears, birds, cats, whales, oceans the earth itself must call it a day.

Just the time to pick out this book, climb on a lap, and listen.

Just the time to watch the light rise and fall at the corners of your eyes - to doze, to sigh, to say to this day, this one among many, shhhhhh shhhh good-bye.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Lyon and Catalanotto (previously paired for Mother to Tigers) offer a going-to-bed book with rhythmic, Raffi-like lyrics: "Everything nests-Shh shh-Everything rests-Shh shh-Cow in the barn-Fox in the den-I'm right here-Tucking you in." Envisioning a classically telegenic family with a blue-eyed, blonde daughter, Catalanotto paints luminous full-bleed watercolor spreads of the usual before-bed routine: bath, story, tuck in. He imagines sleep as an indigo layer of wash that floats up from the bottom of the pages, where the animals in the song are already sleeping, curled up in bluish, moonlit hues. These colors gradually engulf the girl, receding when the routine is derailed (it shrinks when she's bouncing), then creeping back up as she quiets down. In the final spread, when the girl falls asleep, her image joins all the other slumbering baby animals nestling together in one big den. A melody for the text appears on the last page. Lovely. Ages 1-4. (Dec.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Children's Literature - Phyllis Kennemer
Lyon's original folk song is illustrated with two-part pictures on each page. The upper portion shows a mother and father helping their blond, blue-eyed daughter prepare for bed. Sleeping animals in bluish tones are pictured along the bottom. The poetic text flows through the middle. "Everything nests—Shh shh/Everything rests—Shh shh." The idyllic family is shown playing games together, helping with the bath, reading a bedtime story, and tucking in before the girl drifts into sleep. The darker lower images are confusing and distracting. They range in size from barely seen to taking up a third or half of the page until the final spread that is covered with sleeping forms. The animals shown are not always the ones mentioned in the text. Apparently this layout is intended to illustrate the coming time of falling asleep, but young children will not pick up on this subtlety. The words and music for the lullaby appear at the end of the book and Lyon has the audio on her website. Reviewer: Phyllis Kennemer, Ph.D.
School Library Journal


Lyon and Catalanotto have teamed up again to depict another everyday occurrence in the life of a small child. A lyrical text tells of a mother and father preparing their child for bed: "Everything nests-"Shh shh/Everything rests shh/Time to turn in/-To put play away/Turn out the light-/Call it a day." All of the spreads show full-color paintings of the parents and their child on the upper portion and scenes of animals asleep in muted shades of blue and violet on the lower part. At the start of the book, when the father is playing with his daughter and the mother is readying the girl's bath, it is somewhat disconcerting to see baby animals huddled together with their eyes shut on the bottoms of the pages. It starts to make sense when specific animals are mentioned in the rhyme and their pictures are shown below: "Bee in the hive/Whale in the deep/ocean in motion/Cradling sleep." But it is confusing when the text reads "Hen on the roost," and the illustration shows a tiger, lion, gorilla, rabbit, pig, fox, dog, and hippo. The last spread features an assortment of sleeping baby animals superimposed over the dreaming child, and the effect is too busy. Although some children may like identifying the various sleeping critters, the dark pictures may seem spooky to others. Sheet music is provided for anyone who wants to sing the story, and readers can go to the author's Web site to hear it.-Martha Simpson, Stratford Library Association, CT

Kirkus Reviews
Lyon's sonorous words meld with Catalanotto's dreamy gouache-and-watercolor paintings in this tender lullaby. A mother and father's faces glow with love as they prepare their little girl for her bedtime. Peek-a-boo, creative play, puzzle work, hide-and-seek and storytime take their places as family early-literacy activities alongside a boisterous bounce on the bed and a soothing bath. Together, mother and father enjoy their daughter thoroughly each step of the way, while the world and its creatures find a parallel peaceful goodnight. Each double-page spread depicts the humans' activities in glowing, warm hues while blue-gray pigments color a soft-edged stripe at the bottom that shows the animals named in the text. This stripe begins the book just at the lower edge of the page and expands upward with each page turn until finally, in the last spread, it washes over the little girl, including her in its cozy nighttime swirl. Words and images together create a gentle rock-a-bye rhythm, topping off a collaborative effort that should grace all children's collections. (lyrics and music) (Picture book. 0-3)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780689869730
  • Publisher: Atheneum/Richard Jackson Books
  • Publication date: 12/23/2008
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 1 - 4 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 10.20 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

George Ella Lyon grew up just down the road from Blanton Forest, the largest old growth forest in Kentucky, and has always felt most at home in the woods. Some of her recent titles include the ALA Notable All the Water in the World, the Schneider Family Book Award–winner The Pirate of Kindergarten, the Jane Addams Peace Award Honor Book You and Me and Home Sweet Home, and Planes Fly! A novelist and poet, she lives with her family in Lexington, Kentucky. You can find out more online at

Peter Catalanotto has written fifteen books for children, including Monkey & Robot, More of Monkey & Robot, Question Boy Meets Little Miss Know-It-All, Ivan the Terrier, Matthew A.B.C., and Emily’s Art, of which School Library Journal said in a starred review, “Whether viewed from afar or up close, this creative and heartfelt book is a masterpiece.” Peter has illustrated more than forty books. He lives in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 3, 2009

    ¿Great Illustrations, Annoying Words¿

    Sleepsong<BR/>Written by: George Ella Lyon<BR/>Illustrated by: Peter Catalanotto<BR/>Reviewed by: Stephanie Rollins and Isaac Rollins (age 3) for 1/2009<BR/>¿Great Illustrations, Annoying Words¿<BR/>3 stars<BR/>The illustrations in this book are so detailed and realistic. Expressions and movements are brilliantly captured. Catalanotto is a master of children¿s illustrations.<BR/>This is a bedtime story. Isaac hated the ¿sh sh¿ between the words. He ended up putting his hand over my mouth, so he would not have to hear this. When asked if he wanted to read it again, he said ¿no¿. He said that he did not like it. <BR/>However, it does have a sing-song pattern to it that will appeal to some toddlers. This is not necessarily a bad book, but it just is not a good book.

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