SLEEP by Kate Prendergast


How Nature Gets Its Rest
by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 2 - 6
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Simple sentences and softly colored, detailed drawings offer facts about the sleeping habits of 19 animals, both domesticated and wild.

After showing a sleeping tiger on its cover and a hibernating bear on the title page, the book opens to a familiar domestic scene: a dog and cat curled up together on a multicolored, braided rug. Muted colors add to the tranquility. The large type underneath says on the verso, “Cats and dogs sleep curled up…” and finishes on the recto, under a picture of the two animals tussling about: “when they aren’t playing.” As with all the art, the animals are both realistic and imbued with a sweetness that strikes a perfect chord for a bedtime story. For each animal surveyed the text points out just a fact or two about that animal’s sleeping habits. Cleverly, the text for the upside-down-sleeping sloth is literally upside down. The open question at the end—with its appealing, imaginative illustrations—encourages readers to speculate about animals’ dreams; it is a subtle way to continue the soporific mood into the realm of human dreams. The majority of the book is a lovely bedtime story for the very young. Older readers will enjoy the backmatter, which expands on the earlier information and adds interesting tidbits, such as the fact that giraffes’ necks have the same number of vertebrae as humans’ necks (seven).

Facts to precede sweet slumbering. (Informational picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 10th, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-5362-0798-9
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Candlewick
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 2019