Daylight Savings has recently occurred in most states. It’s difficult for many youngsters to adjust to this time change and settle down to sleep. So why not curl up with a good book about sleep to help children to go to sleep. The following books are all picture books along with one board book. The board book is good for ages two through five. The picture books are best for ages three to seven.
Alphabedtime, by Susanna Leonard Hill and delightfully illustrated by Betsy Snyder, has a very full family getting ready for bed after supper time is done. There are twenty-six kiddies, and each child has a name for each of the letters of the alphabet. This rhyming story is simple and fun. O, P, Q, R try to hide. S gives T a piggyback ride. Each child seems to have their own personality going through the story. And the last page shows the last letter settling down for the night. A nice way to learn when getting ready for bed.
Dark on Light, by Dianne White and gorgeously painted with watercolor, gouache and colored pencils, shows a day transforming into night as three children explore the dark. The rhyming text is built on eloquent yet simple couplets that end in “dark on night”. Orange the moon, burnished and bright. Meadow and owl and dark on night. The reflection of the beautiful scenery, as the children explore, fills the double page. Here is a book to be treasured.
Not All Sheep are Boring!, by Bobby Moynihan and nicely illustrated on an iPad in Procreate by Julie Rowan-Zach, is a silly look at how counting sheep to fall asleep does not necessarily mean they’re boring. The author has showcased several sheep that are definitely not boring. Alice has a jet pack. Mike loves eating pickles while sitting in a boot. The illustrations capture the exaggerated and humorous expressions of these goofy sheep. The discussion throughout is led by a cute little frog who continuously points out how interesting sheep can be. However, spoiler alert, that little frog ends up falling asleep!
Knight Owl, by Christopher Denise, recently won the coveted Caldecott Honor award and just opening the book, you can see why! The title displays a prelude of clever wordplay found throughout. This little owl is adorable, and the wondrous illustrations fill the page with heartwarming imagery. Owl overcomes fright and trepidation becoming the hero of the day…or night.
Good Morning, Good Night: A Book of Opposites in the City, by Anita Lobel, begins the day in the life of a child as he awaits his parents to wake up. And the day begins. The life in this city, as it wakes up, becomes active in many ways and on display through opposites on the open page. On one page you see a large bird above a pillar of a building and on the opposite page are several tiny birds finding food on the sidewalk. As the day wanes and the child’s day slows down to evening quiet, sleep is on the way. The attention to detail on each page is beautifully done and rendered in gouache with pencil and liquid pen.
The Dark was Done, by Lauren Stringer, is the perfect book for youngsters who are afraid of the Dark. A young boy was afraid of the Dark under his bed even though he loved hearing the crickets sing their night songs. The Dark was feeling pushed away by children, by streetlights and lights of every kind. So Dark left. Now the sun shone all night long. No one knew if it was daytime or nighttime. The boy missed the sounds of crickets; others missed stars twinkling in the sky. When Dark finally returned, everyone was happy, and the boy said good night to the Dark under his bed every night. The illustrations are exquisite and rendered in watercolor, gouache, and colored pencil.
Mending the Moon, by Emma Pearl and beautifully illustrated with open-page scenes on every page by Sara Ugolotti, begins with the moon being so heavy that it falls into a mountainous area. A young girl, Luna, and her Poppa are put into action by putting the moon back together. However, they need help and so the many animals gather pieces for Luna to put the moon back together. She’s concerned about the smudges, but Poppa tells her that is just how the moon is supposed to look. The animals are adorable, and the story is perfect for bedtime. Make sure to check out the end-pages.
Sleepy Happy Capy Cuddles, by Mike Allegra and brightly painted with oil by Jaimie Whitebread, celebrates the cuddles of the largest rodent in the rainforest: the capybaras. This cuddly animal softens the noisy rumpus of the sound of day and quieting to a sleepy state by cuddling. The text is rich with alliteration throughout. Until one day…there was a blurry blowing of bubbles…a flippant flip of flickering ears. You can find more information about this unusual animal at the back of the book.
Hush, Little Hero, by Annie Bailey and colorfully illustrated by Dawn Lo, is a sweet little board book that reads like the traditional song: Hush Little Baby. Each page has the simple phrase which moves the story along making this the perfect sing along bedtime story all about your little hero getting ready for bed.
Hello, Moon, by Evan Turk, pays homage to that beautiful orb in the sky. But there is also an underlining score of the strong bond between parent and child. The child’s curiosity about the moon is shown through the moon phases and the parent always there beside the child. The illustrations, which are on the open-page, are extraordinary and gorgeous made with marbling inks and gouache.