cover image Can't Sleep

Can't Sleep

Chris Raschka. Orchard Books (NY), $14.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-531-09479-2

A wakeful pup watches and listens as his brother, his mother and his father settle down for the night. Assured that ""the moon will stay awake for you"" after his family has fallen asleep and he's feeling frightened and lonely, he, too, finally drops off. In the morning he returns the favor as the moon goes to bed, and it's the young dog's turn to stay awake and keep her safe. With just a few strokes of his brush, Raschka (Yo? Yes!), an almost visionary minimalist and a master of whimsy, outlines the sleeping household, and sets the story asail across a nighttime sky of peaceful blue. One by one, as the faithful glowing moon looks on, the household lights go out and the twinkling stars emerge. The prose is hushed, both soothingly repetitive and restrained, and the comforting images-the moon kissing the sleeping pup goodnight, for example-will linger on longer after the book is closed. Ages 2-6. (Sept.)