A mother tiger wants her baby to go to sleep, but the little tiger resists. "'If I close my eyes,' he said, 'I can't see the sky.'" She assures him that he will not only see the sky when he sleeps, but will float among clouds and be cradled by the moon. Not in the least assured, the little tiger complains that if he closes his eyes, he will miss seeing the tree and the bird with blue feathers. With each concern, his mother consoles him with a comforting thought. If this gentle give-and-take were not calming enough for a bedtime story, Hallensleben's lovely dreamscapes (And If the Moon Could Talk) will surely do the trick. Double-page paintings of cloud animal shapes (with the little tiger cozying up with the moon), the "big mountains where the rain lives," and of mother tiger licking her baby are utterly hypnotic. Young children who are afraid to go to sleep will learn that "Dark is just the other side of light. It's what comes before dreams" and that mom is never very far away. (Ages 3 to 6) --Karin Snelson
From Publishers Weekly
Banks and Hallensleben further develop the bedtime theme of And If the Moon Could Talk and The Night Worker, this time with the antics of a restless tiger cub. On a sunny midafternoon in a tropical forest, a mother tiger persuades her son to take a nap. "If I close my eyes, I can't see the sky," the mischievous tiger protests, in a portrait framed by the white page. "Yes you can.... You can even float among the clouds," his mother promises, as a fantasy spread pictures fluffy animal-shaped clouds and the little feline reclining in a half-moon; alternating full-bleed images like this one suggest the listener is relaxing into a dream. At last, the cub squeezes his eyes shut. "It's dark," he says. "Dark like your stripes," his mother observes. Banks styles the text as a give-and-take, while Hallensleben sets the jungle scene in impasto layers of sapphire, jade and aquamarine that complement the yellow-orange of the tigers' coats. Roughly hewn paintings depict the patient mother as a bona-fide predator, and her son as a cuddly fellow with bright black eyes, round ears and an upturned smile. Banks and Hallensleben conspicuously borrow the strategy of Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd's classic The Runaway Bunny, which similarly toggles between reality and reverie, and likewise ends with the mother having the last word. At this book's satisfying close, the son falls asleep as his mother promises to be there when he wakes. Ages 3-6.
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