A young tot in mauve footed pajamas tucks into bed with a good book. So begins this off-to-bed journey that provides glimpses of sleepy animals around the world.
Rhyming couplets introduce both familiar and somewhat exotic creatures preparing to sleep in their cozy habitats. Moose in Maine, a Bahamian iguana, prairie dogs in Utah, Peruvian scarlet macaws, Galapágos turtles (called turtles, but depicted as tortoises), Australian kangaroos, Malaysian tigers, walruses in Russia and African chimpanzees all appear quite cuddly in soft smudgy acrylics and pencil as they share each page with the child and her tiny white dog. Calm blue-hued backgrounds cue the coming nighttime. A soothing refrain adds a lullabylike quality to the cadenced text: “High on mountains in China, / with a full moon in view, / the pandas curl up / in their beds of bamboo. / Dreaming dreams / under blankets of stars. / Sweet dreams / under blankets of stars.” As the bedtime tale comes to a close, the final spread shows the menagerie of animals—imaginary or toy—surrounding the sleeping child in her bed. They “send a nighty-night kiss to their sleepy friend….You.”
This gentle bedtime book is sweet enough, but it doesn’t exactly break new ground. (Picture book. 2-5)