WHILE YOU ARE SLEEPING by Melinda Szymanik


by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 2 - 5
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An import from New Zealand details what happens in the waking world when one is asleep.

A sleeping white child’s darkened bedroom is the opening setting, and then a page turn reveals that “on the other side” of the world the sun rises on a new day. Smiling white people and French text on signs suggest that this second scene is set in France or Quebec. This is the one moment when the book departs from the nighttime setting, as the other spreads focus on animals and other people going about various activities while the child sleeps. Like the people in the first two scenes, all the other depicted humans are white with dark hair, though some spreads are populated by nocturnal animals, and in a lovely turn of phrase, “the moon jumps over cows.” At the book’s end, the child is still sleeping, which seems like a missed opportunity for closure indicating a new day dawning. This unsatisfying ending, along with the absence of any people of color in the illustrations, presents a very narrow vision for a book ostensibly aimed at showing the big, busy world around a single sleeping child. Illustrations are largely redundant of text, which is another instance of missed opportunity to enhance the book as a whole.

Yawn. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: July 1st, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-76036-010-8
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Starfish Bay
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 2016


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