cover image The Big Book of Slumber

The Big Book of Slumber

Giovanna Zoboli, trans. from the Italian by Antony Shugaar, illus. by Simona Mulazzani. Eerdmans, $16 (28p) ISBN 978-0-8028-5439-1

Although a series of paintings showing nothing more than groups of sleeping animals might not sound so remarkable, the excursions of imagination in this book from the team behind I Wish I Had... make it a potential bedtime favorite. Deliciously fanciful scenarios, not zoological correctness, is the name of the game: camels sleep under quilts in bunk beds, while three seals slumber in armchairs balanced on the branches of a tree. Lots of big, threatening animals appear, but any thoughts of scariness are put to rest by the sweetness of their expressions as they slumber: the lion on his white lace pillow, the fox in flowered pajamas, the baboon with hands neatly crossed. If even the crocodile, the snake, and the tiger are sound asleep, the creators seem to imply, nothing can threaten readers on their way to bed. Zoboli’s verses contains appealing moments of their own: “Dormouse and badger in beds side by side./ ‘I like your pajamas,’ friend badger confides.” Only one bed is empty—its owner, an owl, stands guard on a tree branch above, staring wide-eyed at the stars. Ages 3–7. (Apr.)