Bound To Stay Bound

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Bulletin for the Center... - 12/01/2012 Bedtime is a known scourge of youthful fun, and the little girl in this picture book is having none of it. Her wise parents sidestep her protestation of not being sleepy (“They nodded their heads and said she didn’t have to go to sleep. But she had to put her pajamas on”), but once she’s in bed she starts a new delaying tactic, inquiring about sleeping habits in the animal kingdom. After exploring the sleep habits of bats, whales, and tigers, she’s inspired enough by their snoozes to fall asleep herself. While the story runs a little long, Logue effectively combines domesticity and lyricism, and the back-and-forth rhythm is tenderly soporific. Zagarenski (illustrator of the Caldecott Honor–winning Red Sings from Treetops, BCCB 3/09) creates a dreamworthy world in her full-page full-bleed illustrations, wherein petite, precise pencil lines contrast with rich grainy textures of paint on wood. Hues run to gently nocturnal aquas and creams that grow darker as sleep creeps in, and delicate elements such as stars, butterflies, and the girl’s toys (and a piece of print featuring Blake’s “Tyger, Tyger”) add sparkle and interest. Reality and fantasy swim comfortably together in both the domestic scenes and the imagined views of animals, and the visuals effectively evoke that twilight state where dream and reality are hard to differentiate. Sleep is a lot more inviting as a fantastical adventure, and animal-loving kids who’ve grown out of Fleming’s Sleepy, Oh So Sleepy (BCCB 9/10) will delight in the companionable wildlife. DS - Copyright 2012 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.

School Library Journal - 12/01/2012 PreS-Gr 1—The common theme of a child not ready for bed receives fresh treatment here. When a young girl repeatedly declares that she is not sleepy, her parents remain calm. She dutifully dresses in pajamas and washes up. After climbing into bed, she again proclaims that she is wide awake and questions her parents about how things in the world go to sleep. They patiently respond by describing the sleeping habits of familiar animals. After they kiss her goodnight and turn out the light, the child incorporates her parents' descriptions of the various animals into her nighttime routine. Like the strong tiger, she, too, falls fast asleep. The narrative flows well as the mood becomes increasingly tranquil. There is much dialogue in the first portion of the story. These conversations between daughter and parents are realistic. Young listeners will identify with the child's desire to remain awake. Zagarenski's stylized artwork shines with interesting details. For instance, the family is portrayed as royalty. The artist's distinctive spreads are a combination of digitally created art and mixed-media paintings on wood. The artist incorporates many patterns into the characters' clothing, rooms, blankets, and pillows. Her attention to detail can be found again on the endpapers where primitive circuslike train cars, a tiger riding proudly atop one of them, appear in sunlight and later in moonlight. The dust jacket depicting the sleeping youngster curled up beside a dozing tiger ushers in the gentle and calm mood of this memorable picture book.—Lynn Vanca, Freelance Librarian, Akron, OH - Copyright 2012 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

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