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WHILE YOU SLEEP by Jennifer Maruno Kirkus Star


by Jennifer Maruno ; illustrated by Miki Sato

Pub Date: Nov. 8th, 2022
ISBN: 978-1-77278-267-7
Publisher: Pajama Press

A peek into the busy Land of Nod.

As the day winds down, a child with beige skin and dark hair gathers toys and brings three cuddly rabbits to bed, tucked beneath the covers. The child’s parent says good night and tucks the little one in. Maruno narrates in flawless and immersive rhyming verse as the toys come to life and repair and renew the world for the coming day. “Once you close your tired eyes, / It’s time to dust the butterflies.” An inquisitive cat appears on almost every spread, expressing curiosity and supervising various activities, including mending clouds, painting flowers, restitching the sunny sky to the green farmland, and embroidering the Milky Way into the dark night sky. Sato uses materials such as silk, paper, and textiles to infuse each spread with tangible, three-dimensional textures and depth. Readers will linger over each tiny, essential detail—nothing is extraneous. Even the perspectives shift and change; the child shrinks and grows as they travel through this task-filled dream world, adding to the dramatic tension. Like the materials on many of the spreads, the text and art are expertly stitched together, each visible and impactful on their own and interwoven into a bewitching whole.

A perfect bedtime selection for eye-catching, vibrantly colorful dreams.

(Picture book. 2-5)