From the creator of Jabari Jumps and Jabari Tries, the tale of a stalling child with a lively imagination – and a passion for animal facts – makes for the best kind of bedtime story.
Mama would like Sweet Pea to settle into bed, but it’s not quite time. Even though the bed is fluffy, it’s not as snuggly as curling up like a pig in the mud, or as spacious as sleeping in the wide ocean like a blue whale. It’s not as fun as sleeping high up in a tree like a koala, or hanging upside down like a bat. And it’s definitely not as relaxing as sleeping standing up, like an emperor penguin. But after mimicking all the ways different animals rest, this little one concedes that a comfy bed, a soft pillow, and a good-night wish offer the best way to fall asleep after all. Gaia Cornwall brings us a loving, humorous story for even the most energetic of bedtime listeners.
Gaia Cornwall loves to write and illustrate for children. She is the author-illustrator of Jabari Jumps, her debut picture book, which was a Charlotte Zolotow Honor Book and an American Library Association Notable Children’s Book, as well as its follow-up, Jabari Tries. Gaia Cornwall lives in Vermont, USA.
Cornwall’s art, rendered in pencil and watercolor with a digital finish, uses a restrained palette of minimal, muted colors that adds a soporific feel to the narrative. . . . A sweet, playful bedtime story with animal appeal.
The premise is simple, yet Cornwall’s digitally colored pencil and watercolor art renders these gentle fantasies of wild animal slumber tremendously effective. . . . An aesthetic and inclusive picture book, this makes a charming bedtime reverie.
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
The real thread of the story is the tender, loving dance of coaxing a child to sleep. Cornwall (Jabari Jumps, 2017) puts the child in fire engine–red pajamas that energetically pop against the muted, nighttime hues of pea green, gentle mauve, and denim blue on the mothers, the seafoam bedroom walls, and sky-blue bed. Same-sex couples and mixed-race families will be thrilled to see themselves represented, and the child (and the bountiful terms of endearment used for them) is kept deliberately ungendered. A sweet tale for sweet dreams.
Cycling through koalas, sea otters, piglets, puffins, whales, and emperor penguins, the story integrates notable facts about the featured critters’ nocturnal habits, while pencil and watercolor illustrations finished digitally show the child cozying up with friendly wildlife pals who seem similarly disinclined to settle. After a smooth segue by Mama that emphasizes a loving parent-child relationship, the book reaches a snuggly conclusion that sets the stage for sweet animal dreams.
This super sweet bedtime book features two moms trying to gently get their imaginative child back in bed. . . a playful, sweet book that I’m sure many parents and children will relate to.