While You Are Sleeping

Alexis Deacon, Author Farrar Straus Giroux $16.5 (36p) ISBN 978-0-374-38330-5
In a refreshing take on the theme of toys that come to life after dark, Deacon (Jitterbug Jam) depicts playthings as workhorses, devoted to the care and well being of their charges. The busy child's toys narrate, and initially the narrative borders on accusatory, like a parent admonishing a disobedient child (""Do you ever stop to think what we go through, night after night, to look after you?""). The tone softens as the toys describe the great lengths to which they must go to ensure the child's safety. Checking every cupboard, corner and curtain mimics the familiar nightly routine of many a caregiver. Smudged pencil renderings give the toys an otherworldly feel, while their stoic expressions emphasize their seriousness in taking care of business. As the toys reflect on the fact that their job is never done, the parental metaphor again comes into play (""We keep you safe no matter what. That's our job, you see. If you need us... we'll be there."" This meaningful tale's message of constancy and stability in a child's world will resonate long after the last page has been turned. Ages 3-6.
Reviewed on: 09/04/2006
Release date: 09/01/2006
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 32 pages - 978-0-09-945697-1
Hardcover - 32 pages - 978-0-09-189331-6
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