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IF I WERE A KANGAROO by Mylisa Larsen


by Mylisa Larsen ; illustrated by Anna Raff

Pub Date: April 4th, 2017
ISBN: 978-0-451-46958-8
Publisher: Viking

How do baby animals sleep?

It must be time for bed, because someone special is describing how a number of different animals go to sleep. “If I were a giant whale, / I’d sing you songs—slow epic tales. / Fin to fin, down in the deep, / We’d drift together into sleep,” the narrator explains. Bound to appeal to young animal lovers, this brief survey of animal habits shows that chicks, squirrels, giraffes, bats, otters, spiders, and gorillas all have their own special sleep styles and habits, which are presented poetically in the text as well as in brief scientific detail at the book’s end. Digitally enhanced ink-and-pencil artwork shows young animals preparing for sleep in their own particular ways, while the gentle rhymes and rhythms of the text form a sort of lullaby. These baby animals are all depicted with their mothers, setting up the expectation that the adult human scene at the end is also a mother. At the story’s conclusion, observant listeners will see that the narrator-mother and her baby (both pale-skinned) have their own bedtime habits, and they will notice that the animals previously discussed are all present in the child’s nursery in some way, shape, or form. Though the book is not entirely striking or novel—both Goodnight Moon and Runaway Bunny come to mind, for a start—the concluding science notes help to distinguish it.

A warm, comforting tale with interesting facts appended.

(Picture book. 2-5)