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  • Writer's pictureNZ Booklovers

Sleep is for Babies by Emily McDowell

It's George's bedtime and he is determined that sleep is not something he needs. He sneaks outside and, as he explores, he discovers a range of animals along the way. George persuades the nocturnal animals to play with him. But when it's his turn to hide, he begins to feel sleepy.

Author Emily McDowell has created a sweet and gentle bedtime story for younger readers. She doesn't sacrifice the story too much for the rhyme, and is sure to include lots of wonderful descriptions and imagery. From the "silvery moon" to "croaking contentedly," it's a lovely, peaceful read perfectly pitched for parents and caregivers. 

McDowell adds hints that this is a story set in New Zealand, but her message is universal. George's determination to delay his sleep and explore will be well recognised by older readers, as will his succumbing to sleep. 

Artist Julia Hegetusch has created detailed illustrations that perfectly match McDowell's story. They are gentle and magical; detailed enough to spot little hidden treasures, but not so much as to distract from the story or the fact that this is a story best enjoyed just before bed. There's a lovely sequence as sleep overcomes George while snuggled up in the ferns that is perfection - Hegetusch perfectly captures a dozing child, from tucked up legs to the half eye open.

Sleep is for Babies is a charming and sweet book that will soothe and comfort younger readers as they snuggle down for the night. 


Reviewer: Rebekah Lyell



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