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LUCY CAN'T SLEEP by Amy Schwartz Kirkus Star

LUCY CAN'T SLEEP

By Amy Schwartz (Author) , Amy Schwartz (Illustrator)

Age Range: 1 - 4

Pub Date: Aug. 7th, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-59643-543-8
Publisher: Neal Porter/Roaring Brook

Restless, sleepless Lucy decides to climb out of bed and wander through her hushed house.

Meandering rhyme bobs up and down in this nocturnal tale, rocking readers with its subtle irregularity and soft tonality. It drifts as Lucy drifts, around her house, into closets and the fridge, onto the porch, back upstairs and, finally, into bed. Dusky blues, purples and pinks establish a muted nighttime world, one through which Lucy perambulates quite comfortably. Children who fear separation and isolation at bedtime might find eye-opening solace in Lucy’s soothing ramble. Quiet solitary play (dressing-up, snacking, listening to far-off music outside, petting the family pup) suddenly seems exactly the way to find peace and slumber. Being alone in cozy darkness ain’t so bad! Lucy’s pleasantly blank, flat face, her wide-set dot eyes and simple u-shaped smile encourage children to identify with her, easily swapping their own experiences, their own faces, with hers. Schwartz’s deceptively simple paintings and line-work deliver enough domestic details (a coiled hose, a stray doll, dirty laundry, scattered bath toys) and slightly skewed perspectives to keep readers engaged, looking into every corner of the family home (just like the nomadic Lucy).

A bedtime book with sweetly anarchic undertones (why stay in bed?), in which verse and artwork lull and soothe to soporific effect. (Picture book. 1-4)