Rawlinson takes on the bedtime battle with a patient mother who finds herself on the losing end.
“I can’t sleep!” Molly starts innocently enough. Mother and child commence the bedtime story ritual. In flowing, rhyming text, the mom suggests soothing imaginary scenes including imagining she’s a “camel” in a “desert land” where “the heat makes you sleepy” or being “in a little boat rocked by a sleepy sea swell.” Each attempt is usurped by Molly’s imagination: “Camel’s thirsty,” she interrupts. “Could it please have a drink?” And: “Let’s have pirates as well, with monkeys and parrots and treasure and fighting.” The mom’s gentle pleas to keep it quiet seem futile against the energetic creativity of Molly. Yet she makes one last effort, invoking the image of being on a “tropical land” with “palm leaves” that “sway in the breeze.” At least one person eventually falls asleep. Rawlinson uses subtle humor and sparse lines to narrate. Paired with Wong’s sweet and simple pencil drawings, filled with subdued hues and gray shadows, the story has an overall calming tone. Molly and her mother are depicted as Asian in the illustrations. Unlike Molly’s mom, adult users of this title are likely to find sleepy success.
A familiar take on the bedtime struggle, this tender nighttime story will safely soothe readers to dreamy bliss. (Picture book. 3-5)