BEFORE I WAKE UP... by Britta Teckentrup


Age Range: 3 - 7
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A child dreams of sailing across the sky and sea, accompanied by a favorite stuffed lion.

Together they venture into the night in a bed carried along in a hot air balloon basket suspended from a yellow moon. They travel over a meadow and deep into the ocean, making friends with animals along the way. Author and illustrator Teckentrup owes something to Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are in the style of her illustrations as well as the book’s design. In full and partial double-page spreads, the companions float on the seas in a simple sailboat with a triangular sail. The dreamy, sparse text is frequently set opposite the illustrations, surrounded by white space. The story conveys both a sense of adventure and the comfort of a protective companion: “You make me feel safe, / you are always near. / That’s why I am brave, / without any fear….” Mottled, textured collage and mixed media in a gentle, subdued palette propel the story from the dark of night until dawn, the journey echoed in the endpapers. The lovely illustrations on matte paper are an evocative match to the simple prose, drawing readers into the child’s dream. Even the binding of this well-designed book adds to its success, as the large pages fall open with a satisfying sound.

This charming bedtime read-aloud, a German import, assures children that a new day awaits them. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: May 15th, 2016
ISBN: 978-3-7913-7246-4
Page count: 56pp
Publisher: Prestel
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 2016


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