Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Once again, the poetry of the late Brown inspires an illustrator to an equally poetic achievement. This is a bedtime book, but much more impressionistic in style and approach than the author's classic Goodnight Moon. Its focus is a tale (about "the little boy Man in the Moon") that Big Sleepy Man recounts to lull Little Sleepy Man into slumber, but the work is really a mood piece, dreamily transcending time, space and conventional narrative structure, then lyrically melting away in much the same way that a child (or an adult, for that matter) drifts off to sleep. Rayevsky's (Belling the Cat; A Word to the Wise) illustrations bridge the surrealism of the text with earthy details, such as the characters' twin wrought-iron beds and their outr identical suits. He is as skilled at depicting flights of fancy as he is at conveying the tenderly familiar attachment between his big and little "men." Ages 3-7. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Gisela Jernigan
Using a simple, repetitive text, the author of the popular Good Night Moon created another bedtime story, in which a big sleepy man and a little sleepy man, (really a little boy), prepare for bed and end up dreaming of the moon. Acrylic and ink illustrations, in mostly subdued colors, bring out the surrealistic and humorous aspects of the tale.
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
PreS-K-A previously unpublished story by the author of Goodnight Moon. This one, too, is about going to sleep, with the comparison of large and small added in, a typical trait of Brown's other titles for children. Here, two sleepy men, one big, one little, go to bed. The big sleepy man tells a story, while the little sleepy man, depicted as a child, follows his own dream into outer space and falls asleep. There is more complexity to Rayevsky's acrylic-and-ink pictures than the story deserves. Rather than the two men being opposites, as Brown clearly set up in her narrative, they are complements, clearly a mature man in a bowler and glasses, and a younger red-head. There is much attention to their costumes, with strange boutonnieres and odd, flappy collars to their suits. Are these characters father and son? What exactly is the relationship? And, even more complicated, what is the relationship between the older man's story about the Man in the Moon's abundant youthful appetite, and the younger man's dream about cosmic wanderings? The idea of space travel, complicated by an odd meteorite suspended on the front cover, makes clear that perhaps Brown's story was not published during her lifetime because it is not as good as her others; on the other hand, this illustrator does not shore up the effort at all.-Ruth K. MacDonald, Bay Path College, Longmeadow, MA