cover image Time to Sleep

Time to Sleep

Denise Fleming. Henry Holt & Company, $17.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8050-3762-3

If winter's in the air, hibernation can't be far behind. So when Bear senses a change of season, she thoughtfully reminds her friends and neighbors of their impending naps in this gentle introduction to fall's cycle. As autumn leaves turn color and glide to the ground, and frost covers the grass, Fleming's cast of woodland creatures prepares for the cold weather. Before Bear crawls into her cave, she tells Snail, ""It is time to seal your shell and sleep."" And before Snail hits the hay he tells Skunk, ""It is time for you to curl up in your den and sleep."" Thus the word travels until Ladybug comically delivers the news back to Bear. Fleming's simple text is ripe with astute observations of the natural world and animal behavior. Children will easily discern the distinct clues of autumn's transition to winter as well as the hibernation habits of several common animals, while enjoying this entertaining tale that doubles as a bedtime story. As in her previous titles (In the Small, Small Pond, Where Once There Was a Wood) Fleming's ""pulp painting"" style results in lushly textured handmade paper compositions saturated with earthy browns, reds and golds. Ages 3-7. (Sept.)