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SWEET DREAMS by Rose Lewis


by Rose Lewis & illustrated by Jen Corace

Age Range: 3 - 5

Pub Date: March 1st, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-4197-0189-4
Publisher: Abrams

Lewis (I Love You Like Crazy Cakes, 2000) pens 15 rhythmic quatrains designed to lull a child to sleep.

A mother readies a little girl for bed, promising a night of adventures. “Nighttime says a quick ‘Sleep tight’ / To the fading morning glories— / Then wakes up all the moonflowers / And listens to their stories.” Succeeding verses present woodland vignettes focused on mice, moths, crickets and other nocturnal creatures. Before the concluding tuck-in, there’s a six-page interstice about daytime, as Mr. Moon nods off: “Say good morning to Miss Sunshine / And the company she keeps.” The cadences sometimes bump, and sense is occasionally sacrificed for rhyme: “The butterflies have gone to sleep, / Their wings no longer flapping, / Making room for the nighttime moths, / Their soft gray wings now tapping.” Corace’s full-bleed watercolors often charm: Three nested owlets await mother’s return in a many-branched, stylized tree against a turquoise sky bright with stars. Creatures bear little relationship in size, either within or between the double spreads; the moon’s shadowed side shifts from right to left and back. The teal-and-sepia–dominated palette suits the subject. Contrasting large, opaque color fields with details of animal and plant life and playing visually with indoor/outdoor motifs like toy and real animals, the pictures try to do too much.

A pretty, sturdy-enough bedtime story, but not more. (Picture book. 3-5)