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HOW DO YOU GO TO SLEEP? by Kate McMullan


by Kate McMullan ; illustrated by Sydney Hanson

Pub Date: Oct. 22nd, 2019
ISBN: 978-0-525-57944-1
Publisher: Knopf

Twelve animals go to sleep in very different ways—which one do you resemble the most?

Writing in cadenced, lulling rhyme, McMullan compares animal sleeping habits to those of various children, inviting readers to ponder their own slumbering style. Squirrel, Octopus, Parrot, and Meerkat have specific bedtime rituals. How similar are they to yours? “Is a tree your cozy bed? / Do you turn purple, orange, and red? // Rest your head upon your back? / Sleep with others in a stack? / NO!” Hanson’s comfy illustrations show young tots attempting the silly situations. Readers are introduced to zebras, dolphins, pigeons, and more along with diverse human children trying out the many bedtime positions (alas, two floating pool snoozes look very similar). Anticipating the certain choruses of giggling “NO”s from young readers as they contemplate the scenarios, McMullan ends with a summation characterized by mock exasperation: “Well, when you go to bed, / if you don’t sleep / a tree sleep or sea sleep, / a tuck sleep or heap sleep,… / …a float sleep or sun sleep / how DO you sleep?” Four pages in which a young, black-presenting moppet engages in a typical human bedtime ritual sets things to rights.

Punctuated with zaniness, McMullan’s litany nevertheless offers a quiet, calming rhythm to help little ones nod off.

(Picture book. 2-6)