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THE WHOLE NIGHT THROUGH by David Frampton Kirkus Star


A Lullaby

by David Frampton & illustrated by David Frampton

Age Range: 2 - 5

Pub Date: June 30th, 2001
ISBN: 0-06-028825-6
Publisher: HarperCollins

A bouncy little leopard cub machetes his way through a crowded jungle of ho-hum going-to-bed books and dances into our hearts. “(E)veryone’s asleep but me!” crows this fresh faced cutie. Guarded by a smiling, sometimes sleepy, silvery, sickle moon, this toddler in spotted pajamas takes readers on tour of his jungle neighborhood through a rhymed litany of animals—all of whom have already surrendered to sleep. Soothing repetition contrasts with intermittent bursts of energy as he tries eagerly to recruit readers for his corps of sleep-resisters: “The snake is sleeping peacefully / like ribbon candy in a tree / lazy lions side by side . . . / Are your peepers open wide?” On page after page, the broad, black-outlined colors and shapes bounce and weave like the adamantly not-sleepy cub. Tired but unbowed, he chortles: “(B)ut am I sleeping? Nope!” Finally, as with even the most oppositional, irrepressible little ones, the press of exhaustion wins out. Cub and child alike are ready at last for security and rest: “Now I know what we should do / Let’s sleep and dream / the whole night through.” A woodcut master, Frampton’s (Riding the Tiger, p. 327, etc.) bold images feature an offbeat palette of grape purple, flat red, glowing turquoise, fertile green, and an irresistibly golden orange and black-spotted little leopard. Images push the page edges and vibrate with active and potential energy. One particularly winsome page shows the cub perched triumphantly atop a lion family literally and figuratively stacking zzz’s. Through ever-present tongue-in-cheek humor and appealingly curvilinear grace, this little gem exudes child-centric appeal and is wonderfully reminiscent of early Jose Aruego and Ariane Dewey collaborations. Frampton, with abundant warmth and canny simplicity, celebrates the anarchic spirit and small, blissful triumphs of early childhood. (Picture Book. 2-5)