From School Library Journal
PreS-K-In this cozy alphabet/bedtime hybrid, a mother tucks her reluctant child into bed, offering examples of how other animals prepare for sleep to convince her little one to doze. The story begins and ends with the mother speaking in soothing rhyming verse; her alphabetized descriptions of "the awake animals getting sleepy" are non-rhyming but mostly alliterative, e.g., "Cat's curled up on a crimson couch cushion." Full-page watercolor and ink illustrations in soft, muted colors depict mildly stylized, drowsy animals (generally one, but sometimes two or three per letter). The large cursive capitals fit well into the overall design of the pages, noticeable but unobtrusive. With dozens, if not hundreds, of other alphabet books out there (including previous alphabet books by Dragonwagon and McPhail), it might be difficult to find room for one more, especially in smaller collections; however, if you are looking for new additions, this one is quietly pleasant.-Yelena Alekseyeva-Popova, formerly at Chappaqua Library, NYα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
This lyrical picture book begins with a bedtime conundrum: how do you sleep when you’re not sleepy? The mother here avoids the traditional route of counting sheep and instead leads her child through an alphabet’s worth of animals who are almost asleep. Each animal is introduced alliteratively: “As the light laps the leaves, Lion lies down, lounging low with Lioness and the little one.” X is tricky, as usual, but since these animals are “expecting an exceptionally excellent night’s rest,” the formula works and the cadence is maintained to the end. Many of the animals will be familiar to children, while some—quetzal, urubu—are more exotic. Children will have fun identifying them—if they are still awake, that is. McPhail’s watercolor-and-ink illustrations are gorgeously serene, and the darkening evening light, depicted in washes of burgundy, gold, and teal, is beautiful. The rhyming text at the end breaks the spell of the A-to-Z lullaby, but by that point the little boy and all the animals are well on their way to a good night’s sleep. Preschool-Grade 1. --Kara Dean