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SLEEP, BLACK BEAR, SLEEP by Jane Yolen

SLEEP, BLACK BEAR, SLEEP

By Jane Yolen (Author) , Heidi E.Y. Stemple (Author) , Brooke Dyer (Illustrator)

Age Range: 3 - 6

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 0-06-081560-4
Publisher: HarperCollins

Mother and daughter’s latest collaboration is a wintry lullaby for hibernating animals. Gentle rhyming verses sing the creatures off to dreamland, while also providing at least one fact about each long, winter nap, i.e., frogs sleep under the ice at the bottom of a stream while snakes breathe more slowly. The final page sends a young child off to sleep, cozy and warm in bed, and surrounded by stuffed versions of all the hibernating animals. Dyer’s artwork is a mixture of realistically portrayed animals and fanciful notions of what their homes and clothes might look like. While some will be viewed by young children as cute animals in their houses, other illustrations will confuse the younger audience for whom this book is intended. So, for instance, the box turtle sleeps in a hammock underground with boxing gloves on and jump-rope in hand. A good read-aloud for a particularly cold and frosty night, it’s just too bad the busy artwork with hidden meanings works against the gentle lullaby. (Picture book. 3-6)