A little black boy who has trouble falling asleep decides to find out how other animal friends get comfortable.
He leaves his rumpled bed and ventures out to discover that: a bat sleeps upside down in a cave, a horse dozes standing up, a whale slumbers on the gently rolling waves, a lark beds down in a nest, the mole snuggles in a hole, a frog stays on a log, a seal reclines on the rocks, and more. Yet all of these positions and places are inappropriate for a little boy. So back in bed and tuckered out from exploring, the boy finally nods off. Le Huche’s flat, boldly hued illustrations move the boy from his moonlit, dark azure bedroom filled with toys, books, his art, stuffed animals, and musical instruments through his nighttime journey, which is rendered in the opaque blues and greens of darkness. Looking closely, readers can see that this boy has not gone all that far, as the animals he peeks in on are all counterparts of the familiar animal characters in his room. The rhyming text is written as a song with a repetitive refrain in which the child imagines playing the part of the various creatures (“A whale I’ll be, I say to me, / but still I cannot sleep”) before he mentally returns to his bedroom, now awash in the purple hue of deep sleep. An addendum includes lyrics with guitar chords.
Weinstone, a former punk rocker and founder of the preschool music program Music for Aardvarks and Other Mammals, has created a soothing piece for little bedtime resisters. (Picture book. 3-5)