cover image A PLACE TO SLEEP


Holly Meade, . . Cavendish, $15.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-7614-5096-2

From her inaugural image (a pajama-clad tot leaning sleepily against an elephant's leg) Caldecott Honor artist Meade (Hush! A Thai Lullaby) introduces a thoroughly engaging cast of characters as she takes an entertaining and informative look at where various animals choose to rest at the end of the day. On each spread, the author asks a question and answers it with the turn of a page, revealing where one species reposes and then challenging readers to guess where the next might select to sleep. Featuring a lilting, lullaby-like cadence, her narrative rolls easily off the tongue: "When his bananas are all gone,/ and sleep is coming on, where might this monkey swing to?/ High to a limb,/ and limp as a peel,/ that's the place/ you'll find him." The volume's innovative design features an oversize format and type that sprawls across the pages in various configurations, aping the motion of the creatures. Meade effectively combines two artistic styles: after spare and striking collage art offers a close-up, full-color depiction of each animal, readers flip the page to find a more abstract black-and-white silhouette of the critter in its resting place. Concluding with a scene in which two children fall asleep (in "beds clean and soft,/ under covers and with kisses"), this is a soothing bedtime read for young animal lovers. Ages 4-7. (Sept.)