cover image Sleepy, Oh So Sleepy

Sleepy, Oh So Sleepy

Denise Fleming, Holt, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8050-8126-8

It's bedtime for all creatures great and small—including humans—in this cozy picture book. Each spread, rendered in Fleming's (Beetle Bop) signature medium of vibrantly dyed paper pulp, depicts a baby critter cuddling with a parent and headed to dreamland. Accompanying each of the intimate portraits is a simple couplet ("Tiny baby ostrich,/ sleepy, oh so sleepy. Tiny baby lion,/ sleepy, oh so sleepy") and, every third scene or so, the query, "Where's my sleepy baby?" After watching koala, elephant, orangutan, and other creatures drift off, the narrator does indeed find "my sleepy baby," a yawning, dark-haired infant, who gets tucked into bed along with a sock monkey. Fleming's palette is exceptionally bright and lively—no fluffy pastel portraits here. Instead, readers get bold scenes of animal parents and children at very close range, with fiery outlines in blue and red. But despite the kinetic quality of Fleming's artwork, by book's end the rhythmic repetition of the titular phrase is likely to have sent readers quietly on to sleep, just like it's supposed to. Ages 2–5. (Aug.)