Sleep Like a Tiger

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Since the beginning of time and the formation of the family as a unit, parents have faced the daunting task of enforcing bedtime even as their drowsy-eyed children argue that they’re simply “not sleepy.”

This is the premise of Sleep Like a Tiger, by Mary Logue. In the book, a precocious little girl is just not sleepy. The moon and the stars are out, but she’s just not sleepy. The dog is asleep on the couch (where it shouldn’t be), and the cat has found a warm spot in front of the fireplace. But the little girl is . . . just not sleepy.

Such stubbornness is usually fodder for ultimatums and temper tantrums, but the parents in this book have wisdom on their side. Instead of insisting that their daughter is indeed sleepy, they tell her what she wants to hear; namely, that she can stay awake as long as she wants, as long as she brushes her teeth, washes her face, puts on her favorite PJs, and slides under her warm blanket.

In no time, the conversation shifts. Her parents teach her that everything in the world goes to sleep; snails curl up inside their shells, whales swim lazily round and round in the ocean, and even the mighty tiger grabs a nap whenever he can to keep himself strong.

Suddenly, the girl is curling up under her blanket, she is moving lazily round and round, and she is preparing for a nap to make her strong.

This is a lovely bedtime book. Ms. Logue’s text and dialogue have just enough lilt and soft, woozy persuasion to coax even the most-wide awake child, or adult, into deep, needed sleep. The book’s cover—a royal sleeping tiger cuddling next to a sleeping child—is oddly reminiscent of another well-loved, dreamy book from long ago called Where The Wild Things Are. The remaining illustrations are equally dreamy and should quickly whisk readers back to days when crayons not cartoons were king and free time at the art table was an afternoon’s wish come true.

Best wishes and happy sleeping,

Rita Lorraine

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I am a former special education teacher, and am currently a full-time children's writer, book blogger and freelance editor. I earned the 2014 SCBWI Letter of Merit for an unpublished multicultural novel; I am Lee and Low Publishers 2012 New Voices Award Winner. I am the author of Getting a Job in the Food Industry, Getting the Most Out of MOOCs, and The Right Health Care Degree for Me, all published by Rosen Publishing, and Playwriting, published by Cavendish Square in January, 2017. My first picture book, Hammering for Freedom: The William Lewis Story (Lee and Low) will debut in 2018. My second picture book, The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read (Random House) will debut in 2019. I penned African Americans of Chattanooga: A History of Unsung Heroes, and I review books for The New York Journal of Books. Thanks for visiting!

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