Terri Schlichenmeyer: The Bookworm Sez 9-24-12
You can’t hear it when it comes.
It happens before you even open your eyes. Like on tiptoe, the sun sneaks over the hills and houses, and it shines through your bedroom window. Light peeks in and taps your eyelids to tell you that morning has arrived.
But when your busy day is over, what happens then? And “How Does Sleep Come?” In the new book by Jeanne C. Blackmore, pictures by Elizabeth Sayles, you’ll find the answer to those very same questions.
It was bedtime, but Jacob wasn’t very sleepy. His eyes were wide open.
Still, he climbed into bed and his mama tucked the covers around him tight. It was dark. Jacob should’ve been sleeping, but he wasn’t ready yet. That was when he asked Mama, “How does sleep come?”
She imagined a quiet, snowy night when snowflakes were falling softly. Sleep sometimes comes quiet, she told Jacob as he snuggled under the covers, his eyelids sagging just a little bit.
Jacob’s mama thought for another minute. She thought about a silent night along the water, and she told him that sleep sometimes comes creeping in like fog. It was big, and wrapped itself around you.
Jacob listened, and yawned. He stretched and rolled over.
Can you hear clouds? No, so Jacob’s mama told him that sleep can come in like a cloud in the sky, just floating along with nothing to say. You can’t hear clouds, and you can’t call them to come to your house. Sleep came like that: just like floating along on the breeze.
Jacob was still awake, but he started to curl up under the warm blankets. Maybe he was a little sleepy after all.
Sleep comes comfortably, Jacob’s mama said, like a kitten curled up in front of a fire, purring happily and contented, snoozing on its pillow. Sleep comes softly, like a butterfly’s wing brushing gently on the petals of a tiny white flower.
And now Jacob really was very sleepy. He closed his eyes and started to dream. Can you guess what he dreamed about?
Your child knows that it’s not easy to try to find sleep without a bedtime story. “How Does Sleep Come?” is the story she’ll want you to read.
Author Jeanne C. Blackmore writes sparingly, using very few words but lots of simple ideas that little sleepyheads won’t have any trouble grasping. Kids who love to ask “just one more question” will readily identify with young Jacob.
But while the story in this book is perfect for naptime or bedtime reading, I thought that the illustrations by Elizabeth Sayles are the real appeal. Done in lush, soft, shadowy blues and grays, Sayles’ artwork is quietly soothing, like a calming backrub. I have to say they even made this adult want to head for a nap.
Meant for kids ages three to five, I think an already quiet 2-year-old might enjoy this book, so find it and keep it around. When it’s time for a bedtime story, “How Does Sleep Come?” will surely come in handy. ❖
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