cover image While You Sleep

While You Sleep

Jennifer Maruno, illus. by Miki Sato. Pajama, $17.95 (24p) ISBN 978-1-77278-267-7

In rhyming couplets, a caregiver encourages a child (both are portrayed with light skin and dark hair) to embrace bedtime so that a crew of bunny helpmeets can begin their work tidying up the world. As a child’s caregiver turns off the light and offers a bedtime kiss, lines describe the “chores,” many seemingly in service of rhyme, being completed by toy stuffed rabbits come to life: “Comb the grass, straighten the trees,/ Place a dot on the black-eyed peas.” Other imagery draws heavily on sewing metaphors, aligning with Sato’s collaged illustrations, which rely on paper, textiles, and embroidery silk: when “the woven night of black and gray” is described as being “embroidered with a Milky Way,” the child is shown yawning beneath an inky knit blanket and a purple embroidered sky. Throughout, the textured scenes remix details from the child’s waking life into suitably snuggly dreamscapes. Ages 2–5. (Nov.)