Author: Mary Logue
Illustrator: Pamela Zagarenski
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children
Publication Date: October, 2012
Genre/Format: Fiction/Picture Book
GoodReads Summary: In this magical bedtime story, the lyrical narrative echoes a Runaway Bunny–like cadence: “Does everything in the world go to sleep?” the little girl asks. In sincere and imaginative dialogue between a not-at-all sleepy child and understanding parents, the little girl decides “in a cocoon of sheets, a nest of blankets,” she is ready to sleep, warm and strong, just like a tiger. The Caldecott Honor artist Pamela Zagarenski’s rich, luminous mixed-media paintings effervesce with odd, charming details that nonsleepy children could examine for hours. A rare gem.
What I Think: I love when books get it right in terms of text and illustrations. It's like a picture book home run and this book is exactly that for me. I love how the story starts with a sweet little girl who just isn't sleepy. As a parent, I can totally relate to this part of the story! How many times have we tried to put kids to bed either to have them say they aren't sleepy or to have them get out of bed every two seconds for a drink or to be tucked in again or because they are itchy...or a hundred other excuses. I love how the parents in this book treat their daughter and answer her questions. (If only I had that much patience at bedtime.) The whole book is rich with descriptive language that just oozes night-time calm. The mixed media artwork is so great. I think I've come to the realization that I adore mixed media when it comes to picture books if it's done right and goes well with the text. In this case, I truly think the mixed media adds to the imaginative elements in the book and helps readers visualize what the text shows the readers. Other books that I love with mixed media are: The Book of Sleep, Balloons Over Broadway, and 11 Experiments That Failed and M is for Mischief.
I do have to add that I have read Runaway Bunny because it was a board book we were given when Peanut was born...but I'm not a fan. The rhythm and premise of the story is sweet but it kind of creeps me out and there is one line in particular in there when the bunny turns into a sailboat that really creeps me out. I would definitely recommend this book as a baby gift along with The Book of Sleep if you're in need of a baby gift.
Read Together: Grades K - 3
Read Alone: Grades 2 - 5
Read With: The Book of Sleep by Il Sung Na, Sophie's Fish by A.E. Cannon, Yes by Jez Alborough, Balloons Over Broadway by Melissa Sweet, 11 Experiments That Failed by Jenny Offill, M is for Mischief by Linda Ashman
Snatch of Text:
"'Do whales sleep?' she asked.
'Yes. They swim slowly around and around
in a large circle in the ocean and sleep.'
'Tiny snails?' she asked.
'They curl up like a cinnamon roll inside their shell.'"Reading Strategies to Practice: Activating Background Knowledge, Making Connections, Visualizing, Identifying Literary Elements
Writing Strategies to Practice: Similes, Onomatopoeia, Descriptive, Mood, Imagery, Rhythm
Writing Prompts: Write a descriptive piece about an animal or a person sleeping. Try to capture the quiet mood of someone or something sleeping and to incorporate literary elements like similes and onomatopoeia.
Topics Covered: Family, Sleep, Childhood, Imagination
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