Little Bear's First Sleep, by Lesley Gibbes & Lisa Stewart

Maybe it would be soft like his mother’s fur.
He waited with his legs curled high.
Maybe it would be firm like his father’s hug.
he waited with his head tucked low.
Maybe it would be sweet like fresh woodland grass.
Little Bear waited and waited…nothing happened.
Little Bear was awake.

It is time for Little Bear’s first big witer sleep. His moother and father fall asleep quickly, but Little Bear is wide awake. What will the big sleep feel like? And what will happen if he can’t get to sleep? He tries all kinds of positions, but it is only when he snuggles in close to his parents that sleep finally finds him.

Little Bear’s First Sleep is a gentle picture book story about – of course – bears, and sleep, but also about navigating rites of passage towards independence. With his parents asleep, Little Bear must solve his dilemma for himself, but it is with the knowledge that his aprents are close that he finally does so.

The illustrations, using soft colours in watercolour and gouache, are just beautiful, and teamed with the gentle text make this a lovely bedtime story.

Little Bear’s First Sleep, by Lesely Gibbes & Lisa Stewart
Scholastic Australia, 2016
ISBN 9781743624012

Outback Lullaby, by Sally Odgers & Lisa Stewart

As the sunset spreads it gow
Little brolga’s dancing slow.
The outback hums with twilight sounds
Numbat dreams of termite mounds.

As the sun goes down, desert babies get ready to sleep – quolls cuddled up in dens, frilled-neck lixards hidden in mulga trees and emu chicks snuggled with their father in their nest.

In gentle rhyming text, youngsters are taken through the outback as desert critters prepare for sleep before being invited to close their eyes to dream of outback lullabies

Perfect for bedtime, Outback Lullaby is the third lullaby title from the team of Odgers and Stewart and is perfect for babies and toddlers.

Outback Lullaby, by Sally ODgers & Lisa Stewart
Scholastic, 2016
ISBN 9781760276485

Rainforest Lullaby, by Sally Odgers & Lisa Stewart

In the drowsing tropic scene
Tree frog’s clinging green-on-green.
Snuggled safe till the sun slips down
Ringtail possum’s sleeping sound.

Across the rainforest animals are settling down to sleep, with the exception of Boobook, who hunts in the dark, and Sugarglider, who glides through the moonlight. The rainforest itself also settles, with creaking boughs and the sounds of rain, making a gentle backdrop for a young listener to be lulled to sleep.

Rainforest Lullaby is a dreamy rhyming picture book perfect for bedtime reading. The gentle, lulling text is complemented by soft pastel illustrations of watercolour and gouache and the whole will withstand repeat readings.

A lovely gift for a new baby or young toddler, Rainforest Lullaby is also a lovely companion to Bushland Lullaby by the same pair.



Rainforest Lullaby

Rainforest Lullaby, by Sally Odgers & Lisa Stewart
Scholastic, 2013
ISBN 9781742838205

Available from good bookstores and online.

Bushland Lullaby, by Sally Odgers & Lisa Stewart

Asleep in a gently snoozing ball
Little possum’s soft and small.
In a twisty tunnel and cosy bed
Little wombat rests his head.

From possums and wombats to crocodiles and bats, the baby animals of the Australian bush settle down to sleep, until finally the young readers is reminded that when s/he settles down to sleep in bed, you’re not the only sleepy head.

Bushland Lullaby is a gentle bedtime read suitable for children from birth. In lyrical rhyme the text is like a soft song. It is perfectly complemented by the pastel watercolours and mixed media of the illustrations, with dusky pinks and blues prominent.

A lovely touch is the use of not only the predictable Australian animals – possums, wombats and echidnas – but also some probably less expected in a cuddly book – crocodiles, bats, even lizards. Another nice touch is that each illustration shows the baby animal either cuddled by a parent or with one close by, a reminder to young readers that they are watched over even while asleep.

This would make a treasured gift for a newborn.

Bushland Lullaby

Bushland Lullaby, by Sally Odgers & Lisa Stewart
Scholastic, 2012
ISBN 9781742831770

Available from good bookstores or online from Fishpond. Buying through this link supports Aussiereviews.

Mummy's Kisses, by Paula Clark & Lisa Stewart

Mummy’s kisses are so special,
they’re just for you to keep.
They will stay with you forever
and calm you while you sleep.

There are kisses for all kinds of things -waking up in the morning, playing games, meeting new people and trying new things. There are also kisses for when things don’t go according to plan and, of course, for the end of the day. This gentle rhyming picture book celebrates the joy of the bond between mother and child – both when they are alone together and also when the child tries out new things, and takes steps away from Mum. The main pairing, a mother echidna and her baby, are delightfully roly poly and there are also lizards, platypuses  and ducks.

The rhyme scans well and is easy to read, perfect for bed time reading, and the illustrations are similarly gentle, in muted pastels, with lots of pinks, gentle yellow backgrounds and pastel browns. The gum blossoms on the cover are embellished with touches of gold, a pretty touch.

Lovely as a gift book, this is a cute offering.

Mummy's Kisses

Mummy’s Kisses, by Paula Clark & Lisa Stewart
Scholastic Press, 2012
ISBN 978174283122

This book is avaialble ingood bookstores or online from Fishpond. Buying through this link supports Aussiereviews.

Can I Cuddle the Moon, by Kerry Brown & Lisa Stewart

Can I cuddle the moon in the sky?
Give it a go, but I think it’s too high.

Little Owl is looking for someone or something to cuddle – could he cuddle the moon? A star? A butterfly? With each suggestions his mother answers gently, until Little Owl surmises that perhaps the answer is under his nose. In gentle rhyming text and with adorably soft illustrations, this is a perfect cuddle-time book.

Young readers will adore the mixed media illustrations, with intricate and intriguing use of collage bringing to life potentially fearful images of things such as snakes and crocodiles in a way which renders them gorgeous and adults will love the tender feel of both text and illustration, which make it wonderful to read aloud.


Can I Cuddle the Moon?

Can I Cuddle the Moon?, by Kerry Brown and Lisa Stewart
Scholastic, 2010

this book can be purchased online from Fishpond. Buying through this link supports Aussiereviews.