Cover image for Sleep, little one, Sleep
Sleep, little one, Sleep
Bauer, Marion Dane.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 1999.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 31 cm
Sleepiness is compared to the actions of a spider, a mouse, a bird, and increasingly larger animals.
Reading Level:
NP Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 1.4 0.5 34894.

Reading Counts RC K-2 1.8 1 Quiz: 28835 Guided reading level: H.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Collins Library PIC.BK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Hamburg Library PIC.BK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Lancaster Library PIC.BK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Orchard Park Library PIC.BK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



As the sun sets, a father puts his child to bed. Weaving images of mice, of birds, and of polar bears, he tells her that sleep nibbles the last crumb of day; sleep gathers her beneath its feathery wings; and that sleep holds her tight in the furry dark. And as the images of sleep grow larger and larger, the father hopes that sleep will come to his child very soon.
In this glorious companion to If You Were Born a Kitten, Marion Dane Bauer and JoEllen McAllister Stammen have created a classic lullaby, as warm and loving as any child and parent at bedtime.

Author Notes

Marion Dane Bauer was born in Oglesby, Illinois. She attended community college first, in her home town, and then went to the University of Missouri when she was a junior to study journalism. She quickly realized that journalism was not for her and changed her focus to the humanities and a degree in English literature. She switched one last time to focus on teaching english, which she did when she graduated college.

After her children were born, Bauer decided to try her hand at writing. She started out with a children's picture book, but discovered that youg adult novels were more to her taste. After making a career out of writing, Bauer became the first Faculty Chair at Vermont College for the only Master of Fine Arts in Writing program devoted exclusively to writing for children and young adults.

Bauer is the author of more than forty books for young people. She has won many awards, including a Jane Addams Peace Association Award for her novel Rain of Fire and an American Library Association Newbery Honor Award for On My Honor and the Kerlan Award from the University of Minnesota for the body of her work. Her picture book My Mother is Mine was a New York Times bestseller.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 2^-5. The first attraction of this book is the basset hound yawning hugely on the jacket front, with her pup wide awake on the back. The second is the gentleness of the bedtime story. As night falls, a father helps his daughter fall asleep by describing, in lovely words and sweet images, what falling asleep is like. Moving from small to large creatures, he compares sleep to the actions of a spider, a mouse, a bird, a puppy, a lamb, and others: sleep is woolly like a lamb grazing softly around the bed; it's an impatient pony stamping, stirring up the dust; it wants to plunge like a whale into the depths. Graceful illustrations perfectly unite the verbal and visual components of the book, as in the touching echo of the jacket illustration that shows a father dropping off to sleep in the rocker, his little girl still wide awake. --Shelley Townsend-Hudson

Publisher's Weekly Review

This lyrical, soporific book will help induce drowsiness in even the most active readers. While this author-artist team explored what form birth takes for a variety of animals in If You Were Born a Kitten, for this companion volume they take a more abstract approach. Rather than describing how nature's inhabitants sleep, here sleep itself is personified via an array of animals: as a bird, when "Sleep gathers you beneath its feathery wings," and as a lamb that "grazes softly around your bed." The images ease readers and listeners from a visual world into an imaginary and tactile one. Stammen's (A Snow Story) pastel spreads eloquently give form to the metaphors: lambs graze in a moonlit meadow, a polar bear cradles its yawning young, a blue whale can be dimly glimpsed through a haze of bubbles. Occasionally the tone sounds more emphatic or cautionary than peaceful, as in the words accompanying a picture of a lumbering tortoise: "Be patient. Sleep will come,/ trudging closer, closer, careful and slow./ Just you wait!/ Just you wait!" And the final repetition, "Let it come./ Please... let it come!" seems to evoke the desperation of parents who've run out of ideas to lull their child to slumber. But a soothing tone of voice will smooth out such subtle changes in the mood of the text. Just like the little girl pictured in the closing pages riding on a polar bear, sweet dreams are sure to follow. Ages 1-4. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 1 The droopy-eared, yawning basset hound on the front cover captures a universal bedtime experience: an exhausted parent trying to lull a wide-awake youngster to slumber. The voice is actually a father's (not pictured until the end, nodding off in a rocking chair), and the lullaby has the flavor of a spontaneous song; it contains some quirky ideas, delightful language, and tranquil repetition. Sleep is first suggested by a small spider spinning a cradle web, then by a mouse who "nibbles the last crumbs of day." As the story continues, the animals increase in size, culminating with a polar bear and cubs, whose cuddling cannot be contained on a double-page spread. While the father dozes, daughter's eyes are open, gazing at the toy polar bear on her nightstand. Ultimately, she succumbs, dreaming of flights of fancy on the polar bear's back. Stammen's pastels on dark gray paper and the oversized format will draw attention and admiration in groups and on laps. The artist is quite adept at capturing the unique texture and character of each animal for an affectionate portrait. This is a welcome companion to the pair's If You Were Born a Kitten (S & S, 1997). Here, the tone is a bit more playful, the child a little older, but the warmth and security felt in the familial bond continue. Wendy Lukehart, Dauphin County Library, Harrisburg, PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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