Kirkus Reviews QR Code
SLEEPY BOY by Polly Kanevsky Kirkus Star

SLEEPY BOY

By Polly Kanevsky (Author) , Stephanie Anderson (Illustrator)

Age Range: 3 - 7

Pub Date: May 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-689-86735-2
Publisher: Richard Jackson/Atheneum

There is art and craft, both verbal and visual, in this very quiet bedtime story. “Here is a boy who will not sleep,” the text begins, a boy who has spent the day at the zoo watching a lioness and her cub. At home, his father is doing all he can to get the boy to sleep: lying down next to him; making soothing sounds and gestures; suggesting the old trick of closing one eye, then the other. The boy, however, is full of the sights of the day, when he snuggles up to his dad’s chest. The interplay between boy and dad is lovely and true, as their competing but tandem thoughts tangle and slow. Anderson has taken Kanevsky’s marvelous words and made a gorgeous visual metaphor for them. In the gold-to-dusk, beautifully modeled watercolor-and-charcoal forms of father and son, bedroom and window, she places on each page the lion cub and its mother in the same household setting. Readers see what the boy sees in his mind’s eye. The illustrations, often tight close-ups at extreme angles, nevertheless capture geometry softened by twilight and a shadowed, shared tenderness between both parent/child dyads. Unusual and captivating. (Picture book. 3-7)