Posts tagged ‘sleep’

SNEAK SHEEP PEAK

MARY HAD A SLEEPY SHEEP

Written by Julia Dweck

Illustrated by Wilson Williams, Jr.

MaryHadasleepysheeppic

This a a preview of the kindle version of Julia Dweck’s newest book to be officially released on September 5, which can be preordered at a discount on Amazon.

I was really surprised to learn that a girl named Mary Sawyer did have a little lamb that she brought with her to school in Sterling, Massachusetts around 1830. A statue of the lamb remains in the town today. Ms. Dweck dedicated this book to her husband Sheppard and named her sheep character after him.

In this new retelling of the classic nursery rhyme, Mary has a pet sheep with a problem; it never seems to be able to stay awake. When Sheppard shows up in Mary’s bed, her mother yells, screams, and kicks the animal out of the house. Mary is desperate to teach her pet to sleep. She tries reading it books, dancing lessons, spraying it with garden hoses, and tickling it with feathers. Mary feeds her sheep spicy food, snacks and drinks. She sprays her sheep with shaving cream, turns the heat off and blasts her music on the French horn. Finally, Mary decides to try a technique that humans use when they can’t get to sleep. To her surprise, it works! Now she has the opposite problem; Sheppard can’t seem to stay awake!

As is the case in most of Ms. Dweck’s other books, the rhymes are cleverly written in four line verse. My only concern in this kindle version is that the text is written in white letters that get washed out in the color on some pages making it a little difficult to read. Some parents may take issue with the fact that Mary’s mother literally kicks Sheppard out of bed while yelling and screaming at the sheep. Very young children may misunderstand the illustrator’s attempt at humor.

There are lots of bonus features included with this book. Four website links will allow the reader to explore his skills in being a cartoonist, actor, designer or author. Readers are asked to search for the picture of a hidden mouse on each of the pages. There is a separate “find what is wrong on this page” activity as well. Children are encouraged to continue learning and having fun after they finish reading the book making this purchase a good investment.

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SLEEPLESS NIGHTS

The Girl Who Stayed Awake

by Karen Rosario

GirlWhoStayedAwakecoverpicThis is a story about a girl named Lucy-Go-Lucky. It is written in rhyme and composed of much beautiful poetry. Lucy has a vivid imagination. She has trouble sleeping, but when she dreams, her dreams are so real! One night she decides that she wants to dream of birds singing, of sun and of snow. She finds the Planet Ping where there are birds with purple eyes and beaks who sing while they are upside down. She dances and parties all night and does not want to leave. They give her a baby Pingle; but when she wakes up, it is gone.  Feeling depressed, the following night Lucy decides to be a queen in a land of dragons and castles. She meets the Pongles who have buttons for eyes and teeth and rubber tires for skin. But they don’t want her to rule them in the land of Pong, and she must fight the Pongles all night long. She traps them in her sack, but when she awakes in the morning, they are gone. She is grumpy and does not pay attention in school. That night she resolves not to sleep. When she does succumb, she is dreaming of riding on a horse through the forest. There she meets the Shadow Grudge who lives in the Planet of Lost Hope. He presents her with a huge stinky cake to eat. After eating it all night long, she begins to look like the ugly Grudge who has peppercorn eyes and feet made of moldy bread. In the morning the Grudge is standing beside her bed.  Lucy draws a picture of the Grudge and tries to flatten him in a book. Her father wakes her and tells her it is time to go to school. She does not want to get out of bed.  He reassures her that night dreams are not important, we can make our dreams reality by working hard and using our brains. So Lucy decides to face her fears.

The author informs us that she has been influenced by Dr. Seuss, Edward Lear,  Jim Henson, and the Sendaks. You can certainly see this influence in the poetry she writes, The mostly black and white illustrations and rambling script stand in stark contrast to the explicit vivid images in her dreams. The book needs strong parental or teacher guided discussion, but it will serve as a starting point for lots of interesting conversations and comparisons for older children. I recommend adding it to your poetry collection.

You can download this book as a pdf at http://freekidsbooks.org  or purchase it in Lulu Marketplace (see Link below)

http://www.lulu.com/shop/karen-rosario-ingerslev/the-girl-who-stayed-awake/paperback/product-16952312.html;jsessionid=01577250179AD2EE9C119F01619EC3E6

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