Lucy Can't Sleep

Amy Schwartz. Roaring Brook/Porter, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-59643-543-8
She may be an insomniac, but with a combination of brisk self-sufficiency and mild mischievousness, Lucy turns lemons into lemonade. She buttons on a sweater, blows her nose, and then slides down the banister (readers may surmise that such behavior is probably frowned on during normal family hours). Lucy proceeds to raid the fridge ("Strawberry shortcake,/ Just a bite./ Chocolate pudding,/ Quiet night"), savor the sights and sounds of the backyard ("A black tree/ With black leaves,/ A black squirrel, A black dog"), and indulge in late-night dress-up ("Lipstick is nice,/ So is this hat./ Dance a dance!/ Spin around twice"). When she finally returns to bed, only the family dog is the wiser. Schwartz (Willie and Uncle Bill) employs nursery colors, cozy patterning, and lots of attention to home furnishings (adults may develop a case of throw rug and kitchen envy) to provide her heroine with the orderly, reassuring setting that emboldens her to go adventuring. Meanwhile, the pithy, impressionistic verse acts as staccato counterpoint, inviting readers inside Lucy's head as she realizes the night has given her dominion over a world not normally under her control. Ages 4–8. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 06/11/2012
Release date: 08/07/2012
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