GO TO SLEEP, LITTLE FARM by Mary Lyn Ray

GO TO SLEEP, LITTLE FARM

Age Range: 2 - 4

KIRKUS REVIEW

 

Ray and Neal tackle the tried-and-true theme of bedtime on the farm.

Ray’s work does have some lovely turns of phrase; “Somewhere a pocket sleeps in a skirt” and a reference to “minutes that sleep inside clocks” are standouts. But as a girl is tucked into bed while the farm and natural world settle down around her, almost-rhymes and spotty rhythms undermine the text’s alternately lilting and halting efforts toward lullaby. Take the line “Somewhere a fox calls her pups to their den—as somewhere shadows tuck a house in.” It almost works, but not quite. Meanwhile, Neal’s mixed-media illustrations have a somewhat retro style and are appropriately dark and soothing, with soft visual textures and forms on each spread. Illustrations also strive to extend the text by resisting redundancy; for example, the line “Somewhere a bear” is accompanied by an illustration of a bear in the wild, but the page turn “finds a bed in a log” paired not with that same bear but a teddy bear and the girl burrowed under blankets. Perhaps a consistent continuation of this conceit, marrying nature scenes with parallel scenes in the girl’s home (à la the Dillons’ interpretation of Margaret Wise Brown’s Two Little Trains, 2001) would have succeeded.

It’s difficult indeed for a bedtime book to stand out, and this one doesn’t quite deliver. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Sept. 2nd, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-544-15014-0
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: HMH Books
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2014




MORE BY MARY LYN RAY

ChildrenA LUCKY AUTHOR HAS A DOG by Mary Lyn Ray
by Mary Lyn Ray
ChildrenA VIOLIN FOR ELVA by Mary Lyn Ray
by Mary Lyn Ray
ChildrenDEER DANCER by Mary Lyn Ray
by Mary Lyn Ray

MORE BY CHRISTOPHER SILAS NEAL

ChildrenOVER AND UNDER THE SNOW by Kate Messner
by Kate Messner

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenTHE HOUSE IN THE NIGHT by Susan Marie Swanson
by Susan Marie Swanson
ChildrenBARNYARD LULLABY by Frank Asch
by Frank Asch
ChildrenGOING TO SLEEP ON THE FARM by Wendy Cheyette Lewison
by Wendy Cheyette Lewison