cover image Sleepy Places

Sleepy Places

Judy Hindley, , illus. by Tor Freeman. . Candlewick, $15.99 (24pp) ISBN 978-0-7636-2983-0

Like a soothing cup of tea before bed, Hindley's story beckons youngsters to get under the covers and curl up with their favorite someone for a sleepytime read. Her tale explores a sundry of sleep spots, the choices of creatures large and small, through rhyming verse ("A rabbit sleeps tight in its burrow; a bird snuggles down in a tree./ A frog takes a snooze in the ooze of a pond; a rose makes a bed for a bee"). Freeman (Hooray, I'm Five Today! ), whose pencil-and-watercolor drawings call to mind the work of Polly Dunbar, uses both full-bleed spreads and an abundance of spot illustrations to create images both endearing—snuggling creatures sleeping like babies—and witty, as in a trio of worms laughing at a dozing bird. While some resting places may be more obvious (a bird in a tree), others will teach the intellectually curious a thing or two (for instance, a bat sleeps upside down—Freeman depicts one with an eye open). The author breaks up the stanzas with questions that prompt storytellers to inquire of little listeners' own sleep preferences, making this an interactive read ("Do you suppose you could drowse in a rose, or snooze in the ooze like a frog?"). The message of wherever one rests is a matter of preference seems to also say, "It's okay to be different, as long as you are comfortable." Ages 3-6. (May)