Time to Sleep
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Time to Sleep

5.0 1
by Denise Fleming

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A warm, inviting bedtime book from a Caldecott Honor-winning illustrator.

Bear sniffed once.
She sniffed twice.

"I smell winter in the air," said Bear. "It is time to crawl into my cave and sleep. But first I must tell Snail."

Denise Fleming presents a warmhearted story about animals of the forest settling down for their


A warm, inviting bedtime book from a Caldecott Honor-winning illustrator.

Bear sniffed once.
She sniffed twice.

"I smell winter in the air," said Bear. "It is time to crawl into my cave and sleep. But first I must tell Snail."

Denise Fleming presents a warmhearted story about animals of the forest settling down for their winter nap. But, like children who must go to bed for the night, they each find a way to put it off just a little bit longer. Richly illustrated in fall colors, Denise Fleming's storybook world is right on target for preschoolers.

Author Biography: Denise Fleming was awarded a Caldecott Honor for In the Small, Small Pond. She also wrote and illustrated In the Tall, Tall Grass; Lunch; Count!; Barnyard Banter; Where Once There Was a Wood; Mama Cat Has Three Kittens; and The Everything Book. Ms. Fleming creates the illustrations for her books by pouring colored cotton pulp through hand-cut stencils. The result is unforgettable images set in handmade paper. She lives in Toledo, Ohio.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
If winter's in the air, hibernation can't be far behind. So when Bear senses a change of season, she thoughtfully reminds her friends and neighbors of their impending naps in this gentle introduction to fall's cycle. As autumn leaves turn color and glide to the ground, and frost covers the grass, Fleming's cast of woodland creatures prepares for the cold weather. Before Bear crawls into her cave, she tells Snail, "It is time to seal your shell and sleep." And before Snail hits the hay he tells Skunk, "It is time for you to curl up in your den and sleep." Thus the word travels until Ladybug comically delivers the news back to Bear. Fleming's simple text is ripe with astute observations of the natural world and animal behavior. Children will easily discern the distinct clues of autumn's transition to winter as well as the hibernation habits of several common animals, while enjoying this entertaining tale that doubles as a bedtime story. As in her previous titles (In the Small, Small Pond, Where Once There Was a Wood) Fleming's "pulp painting" style results in lushly textured handmade paper compositions saturated with earthy browns, reds and golds. Ages 3-7. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Kristin Harris
As one might guess from the title, this is a great bedtime story. A simple tale follows a progression of animals as they alert each other to the coming of winter and the time to hibernate/sleep. When the story comes full circle, it's good night all. The illustrations, very beautiful and unique, are images created in hand-made paper with colored pulp and stencils. This very bright and colorful book is a great addition to a young child's library.
School Library Journal
PreS--Frost on the grass. Falling leaves. Days growing shorter. A sky full of geese. Even a skin "so tight I could not eat another bite" is a sign that winter is on its way. Clearly it's not just your everyday bedtime but the long winter's sleep we're dealing with here, as Bear smells winter in the air and gets ready to hibernate. First, though, she must tell Snail, who must tell Skunk, who must tell Turtle, and so on until Ladybug brings it full circle, waking Bear to tell her...It's Time to Sleep. Fleming uses colored cotton rag fiber to create her jewel-toned illustrations, erupting here in fiery autumn colors. Their angular composition heightens the sense of activity generated by the animals' preparations until Bear's solid, slumbering form brings it all to a cozy, comfortable close. This gem of a picture book, subtly informative and poetic in its simplicity, is certain to become a staple of seasonal storyhours and nursery-school curricula. No children's collection should be without it!--Marcia Hupp, Mamaroneck Public Library, NY
Kirkus Reviews
A well-wrought bedtime book from Fleming (Where Once There Was a Wood, 1996, etc.), who sends little ones cheerfully off to their dreams.

When Bear smells winter in the air, she knows it's time to sleep, and she will, just after she tells Snail. Snail recalls the frost on the grass this morning and knows Bear is right—it's time to sleep, right after Skunk is told. It is Ladybug who carries the news full circle back to Bear, snoring in her cave. Sleepy goodnights end the book as white flakes appear in the dark forest. The illustrations, created by pouring colored cotton pulp through hand-cut stencils, feature boldly life-like small animals and insects who face the coming of winter in a simple, truthful manner. Visual delight and solid natural history aside, the joy of the story is the way in which it incorporates childlike attempts to delay bedtime and a beautifully turned, humorous ending. A perfect fit for the audience.

From the Publisher

“This exuberant cumulative tale teaches a science lesson as it tells a story. Bear can tell ... it is time to hibernate. But before she crawls into her cave to go to sleep, she alerts Snail, who tells Skunk, who tells Turtle, and on and on, until silly, enthusiastic Ladybug awakens Bear to give her the news she already has.... The beautifully textured double-page spreads are expressive and funny.” —Booklist

Product Details

Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Publication date:
Edition description:
First Edition
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
10.30(w) x 10.25(h) x 0.43(d)
AD310L (what's this?)
Age Range:
3 - 6 Years

Meet the Author

Denise Fleming has written and illustrated many children's books, including In the Tall, Tall Grass, Shout! Shout It Out!, and Sleepy, Oh So Sleepy. She won a Caldecott Honor for In the Small, Small Pond. Denise published her first painting in the third grade, when she started taking classes at the Toledo Museum of Art and one of her paintings was chosen to be the cover of a teacher's magazine. She now works primarily with paper, by pouring colored paper pulp through hand-cut stencils. She lives in Toledo, Ohio.

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Time to Sleep 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Fox_Chapel More than 1 year ago
As a preschool teacher, I have a deep appreciation for those stories that hook the very young! This one really works! It has rich illustration and the welcome repeating refrain of "but first I must tell..." This story gently teaches a sense of community and science. Perfect for winter and hibernation themes!