Sleepy Cadillac: A Bedtime Drive

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A sleepy car floats up to a small boy's bedroom window and takes him for a nighttime drive. So begins a dreamy journey high above the clouds and over the moon — all the way to Pajama Land, where cars circle and dance, and sleepy people dream the night away. Luminous pastels seem to glow with moonlight. Words, soft and soothing, will coax the most reluctant sleepyhead into bed.

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Overview

A sleepy car floats up to a small boy's bedroom window and takes him for a nighttime drive. So begins a dreamy journey high above the clouds and over the moon — all the way to Pajama Land, where cars circle and dance, and sleepy people dream the night away. Luminous pastels seem to glow with moonlight. Words, soft and soothing, will coax the most reluctant sleepyhead into bed.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

The Horn Book
“A bump-free ride to dreamland…[S]ure to lull little drivers contentedly to sleep.”
Booklist
“Cleverly harnessing the soporific effects of evening car journeys…A rare, welcome end-of-day option.”
New York Times Book Review
“Dreamy story…soothing tone…[C]ould well become [Hurd’s] own classic.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (starred review)
“The concept is ingenious…A luminous yet homey journey.”
Publishers Weekly
Pleasingly soporific and dream-like, Hurd's (Moo Cow Kaboom!) story opens as a vintage blue Cadillac-of the finned variety-floats down a street at sunset. "The Sleepy Cadillac stops/ by your window./ Climb aboard," invites the narrative. A child settles into the driver's seat and the car proceeds to "the dream station," where its tank is filled "with dreams to make the Cadillac fly." In Hurd's softly focused, incandescent pastels, the headlights cut through the darkness and fog as the car glides over the countryside toward the Pacific coastline. In an especially striking and calming spread, readers view a whale and dolphin as the car flies "over the ocean,/ where the whales are sleeping,/ the waves are gently rolling,/ and the dolphins sing/ a sleepy song/ in the deep blue sea." Other antique "sleepy cars" join the Cadillac as the moon guides them to Pajama Land, where children sleep in the clouds. After being dropped off at his window at tale's end, the child slumbers, tucked into bed in his room; kids will be tickled to spy a toy replica of the Cadillac on the bedside table. Hurd's inventive tale cleverly tweaks the standard car theme, introducing a vehicle that floats rather than zooms-and one that will lull rather than rev-up heavy-eyed youngsters. All ages. (May) Seen Art? Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
In this fantasy a roomy, smooth-riding Sleepy Cadillac picks the reader up at the bedroom window and lets him snuggle in for a comforting ride. He stops and fills up the tank with dreams. Then he floats over the sea and circles the moon on the way to Pajama Land, where "eyes droop, heads nod, and everyone dreams the night away." The reader can then "climb into bed, soft and warm all around." This book is full of Thacher Hurd's gentle words which perfectly match his soft, dreamy pastels that chart the fantasy journey and create a metaphor parents can use. 2005, HarperCollins, Ages 3 to 5.
—Susie Wilde
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-A '50s-era blue Cadillac convertible, tail fins alight, floats by a sleepy child's bedroom window and invites him into its soft snuggly seats for a ride. Powered with dreams, the vehicle floats above the fog into the star- and moonlit night. It travels over the ocean where "the dolphins sing a sleepy song," other drowsy cars circling with it as it travels. Other riders sit back and relax or cavort on car hoods, and finally "all the eyes droop and all the heads nod, and everyone dreams the night away." Then it's back down to the child's bedroom window where he climbs into bed, "soft and warm all around." Surrounded by the soft blues, blacks, and violets of the night sky, the car and its entourage have ample space to ride across full spreads. Hurd's loose, broad strokes, executed in pastels and pastel pencils; the swirls of white clouds with their sleeping inhabitants; and the faces with undefined features all combine to create a dreamy atmosphere. A bedtime journey that will lull tired travelers into a cozy night's sleep.-Marianne Saccardi, Norwalk Community College, CT Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A big blue classic convertible floats down the street until this "Sleepy Cadillac" stops by a little boy's window and takes him for a ride in the night sky. The engine's running like a regular car, but this magical contraption is flying high above the city: "Drift to the dream station. / Fill up the tank/ with dreams to make the Cadillac fly. / Past the houses, / past the lawns, / past the mall." The car floats over the ocean where the whales snooze, up to the moon where all the other sleepy cars carry their sleepy passengers, and all the way to Pajama Land, where wispy-looking dreamers drift in a swirly cloud. Even if young ones don't find the idea of riding in a flying car very soothing, Hurd's words are undeniably hypnotic, causing eyelids to get heavier-and heavier. Soft pastel and pastel-pencil landscapes further cast their spell "Until all the eyes droop / and all the heads nod, / and everyone dreams the night away." (Picture book. 2-5)
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“The concept is ingenious…A luminous yet homey journey.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060730208
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/10/2005
  • Edition description: All Ages
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.86 (w) x 11.28 (h) x 0.34 (d)

Meet the Author

Thacher Hurd is the award-winning author and illustrator of several children's books. He lives with his wife, Olivia, in Berkeley, California.

Thacher Hurd es un autor e ilustrador que ha recibido varios premios por sus libros para niños. Vive con su esposa, Olivia, en Berkeley, California.

Thacher Hurd is the award-winning author and illustrator of several children's books. He lives with his wife, Olivia, in Berkeley, California.

Thacher Hurd es un autor e ilustrador que ha recibido varios premios por sus libros para niños. Vive con su esposa, Olivia, en Berkeley, California.

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