written by Jane Clarke; illustrated by Georgie Birkett
2016 (Kane Miller)
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher
Talk to him in whispers, sing him lullabies. Rock-a-bye your lion cub. Will he close his eyes?
How do you tuck in a sleepy lion? You might guess very carefully, but there’s more to it than that. The lion may be tired, but he’s not sleepy. He might run from the bathtub, so you’ll need to dress him in striped PJs. If he wriggles, don’t chastise him. Wriggle along, and you might also giggle and squiggle. A quick scoop and hug will carry him to bed, but it’s not lights out yet. A stuffed Ted needs to be present and a favorite book read. And read again. Surely the eyes are closing now, but you’ll need to finish strong. The final touch is a lullaby, a tuck-in, and a kiss on ears and paws. Soon the ZZZs take over.
The new How To series from Kane Miller imagines toddlers taking care of their animal loved ones. This series is designed to introduce the youngest readers to familiar tasks at home. Sleepy Lion certainly accomplishes this in an adorable fashion, but it can be used with readers above the preschool age too. Try reading this board book to a kindergarten or first grade class as a precursor to a unit on creating how-to books. It would also work well as an introduction to a graphic organizer on sequence. Do you have a young reader who needs extra help with how to retell a story? This is purrrfect for that task. You can work on the skill with a shared reading. Rhyming is also part of the text, but listeners will have to work for it. The rhymes are not obvious, which is a good challenge for the primary crowd. You’ll want to add this book to your den of bedtime books.