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OLIVE THE SHEEP CAN'T SLEEP by Clementina Almeida


by Clementina Almeida ; illustrated by Ana Camila Silva ; translated by Lyn Miller-Lachmann

Pub Date: Aug. 7th, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-58089-838-6
Publisher: Charlesbridge

A bedtime book with parenting tips to help kids get the sleep they need.

This handsomely designed Portuguese import features the adorable, fluffy sheep Olive, whose mother helps her overcome sleeplessness after a long day of play. A frontmatter “Note for Grown-Ups” introduces the book’s reliance on neuroscience research to help improve children’s sleeping habits, and backmatter “Bedtime Tips” offer an overview of the ideas introduced in the book proper. These same tips are embedded in Olive’s story as her mother finds different ways to soothe her little lamb and help her ready her body and mind for rest with: a bath, deep breathing, cuddling, warm milk, soothing imagery, and so on. The somewhat flat aesthetic of Silva’s digital illustrations doesn’t undermine their cuddly appeal, since the forms are rounded and lines curved. Movement from a bright palette to a more subdued one as Olive settles in for the night provides a logical, calming visual shift for sleepy readers. While none of the advice reads as revolutionary, having it integrated into a story could aid children in calming themselves at bedtime while affirming caregivers’ nurturing efforts to support them. It’s as purposive as The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep but both gentler and more artful.

This book makes the most of its dual audience.

(Picture book. 1-4)