The animals on Farmer Hayden’s farm talked a lot at night.
The crickets chirped.
The dogs barked.
The cow moo-ed
and the sheep maa-ed.
With all the animals on the farm making so much noise every night, Farmer Hayden is struggling to get any sleep. He calls out to the animals to be quiet – but it’s no good, because they are making so much noise they can’t hear him. Finally, on the verge of giving up, Farmer Hayden goes outside to sit on his verandah. As he looks out across the farm., he sees his sheep jumping a fence. he starts to count them. Soon, Farmer Hayden and all the animals are fast asleep.
Noisy Nights is a humorous picture book title featuring lots of farm favourites, and noises which youngsters will enjoy echoing. The solution, too, will bring smiles, with its play on the old idea of counting sheep to get to sleep.
The illustrations, using water colour with pencil outlines are also filled with gentle humour.
Lots of fun.
Noisy Nights, by Fleur McDonald & Annie White
New Frontier, 2016
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
Every night she does this.
Ever since she moved into my room.
Jessie won’t go to sleep. She throws her pillow on the floor, she stands at the bar of her cot, and she screams. Her big sister can’t sleep either – she wishes Jessie would be quiet, or, better still, that Jessie wasn’t sharing her room at all. It seems nothing will settle Jessie down to sleep, except maybe a little bit of sisterly love.
Go to Sleep, Jessie! is a gorgeous tale of a situation many families will relate to,from one of Australia’s favourite picture book pairings. Libby Gleeson’s text tells a fairly simple tale of a baby who won’t sleep in spite of big sister, Mum and Dad’s efforts, but at the same time there’s a deeper tale, of both sibling rivalry and sibling love. Apart from not being able to sleep, the big sister also laments the loss of her own space, and the disruption that Jessie has brought to her life. When Mum tells her she doesn’t really want her own room, big sister disagrees – but when Dad takes Jessie out for a drive to try to settle her, big sister can’t sleep, and it is her sisterly intervention which finally gets Jessie to sleep and helps her sleep, too.
Freya Blackwood’s illustrations, in watercolour, gouache and pencil, perfectly capture both the frustration and the mixed emotions of the big sister, as well as Jessie’s upset. WHile Mum and Dad are art of the story, Blackwood makes sure the children are central – with Mum and Dad only visible either from behind or from angles which don’t show their faces. This is the children’s story, and the final image of them asleep together in Jessie’s cot is gorgeous.
A beautiful picturebook.
Go to Sleep, Jessie! by Libby Gleeson & Freya Blackwood
Little Hare, 2014
Available from good bookstores and online.
Everybody needs sleep – and lack of sleep can be both exhausting and demoralising. So, for new parents, the lack of sleep caused by their baby’s lack of a sleep routine can be a real problem, impacting on their joy at having a new addition to the family. Save Our Sleepis a guide for parents, aimed at helping their babies to be happy and well-rested – with the spin-off, of course, that if baby has plenty of sleep then so too will her parents.
Writer Tizzie Hall has worked with babies and parents for over fifteen years, helping them to develop customised sleep routines which have settled restless babies and saved the sanity of their parents. She now presents her techniques and experiences in book format. The book explains why babies need routines, how these routines can become adversely affected, and what to do about it. Hall also explains how to teach babies to settle themselves, and how the way parents respond to babies can effect how they learn to sleep.
This is a no-nonsense book. Hall doesn’t provide an easy-fix – she spells out the effort required to develop a sleep routine and to fix sleep problems. She also uses plenty of case studies to show how her advice works in action. Parnets will find plenty of good, practical advice, and, hopefully, they key to a good night’s sleep for all.
Save Our Sleep, by Tizzie Hall