Nighty-Night, Sleep Tight, written by Jennifer Berne and illustrated by David Walker, is, as you might expect from the title, a bedtime picture book. Written in the vein of Somewhere So Sleepy (and doubtless many others), Nighty-Night, Sleep Tight follows a child as she visits, in her imagination, a variety of animals from around the world sleeping. Like this:
"As a whispering wind
stirs a misty Maine fog,
a moose family sleeps
by the edge of a bog.
Dreaming dreams under blankets of stars.
Sweet dreams under blankets of stars."
That last couplet, about blankets of stars, is repeated after every second or third type of animal. This bothered me a bit. It seems like it would have been more soothing to have it included every time. Or at least to have used the regular spacing of every other time. Including it at irregular intervals seemed odd to me, particularly in a bedtime book.
Still, I did like the variety of animal examples that Berne included, and the seamless way she incorporates tidbits of information. Like this:
"Beneath deserts of Utah,
in underground towns,
little prairie dogs snooze
in beds fourteen feet down."
Walker's pencil and acrylic illustrations lend a cozy feel to the book. The little girl, in pink footie pajamas, is shown interacting with the animals on each page. A page depicting Galapagos turtles, for example, has the girl drawling along, with a beach bucket on her back like a shell. She curls up with the tigers, and joins a Bahama iguana by perching on a palm frond. Both girl and animals are depicted without excessive detail, and with a mix of cheerful and sleepy expressions.
For those looking for a soothing bedtime book, one that includes a bit of information about animals from around the world, Nighty-Night, Sleep Tight is well worth a look. While not groundbreaking, it's a comforting read, with gentle illustrations that will make young listeners smile.
Publisher: Sterling Children's Books (@SterlingKids)
Publication Date: March 5, 2013
Source of Book: Review copy from the publisher
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