on August 19, 1999
My son received this book as a gift when he was four. I had never heard of it before. The first time I read it to my son, it seemed incredibly long, but after a couple of readings, I loved the book as much as my son does. Now I'm thrilled when I see that he has picked this book for his bedtime story. I never tire of reading about how sleepers are counted and the sleep-walking Crandalls and the salesmen with their Zizzer-Zoof seeds. And the illustrations are wonderful! The page near the end which shows a multitude of creatures asleep for the night is a favorite -- my son can look at and talk about that page for 10 minutes! I am sorry I missed out on this book growing up, but at least my son hasn't!
on May 29, 2001
This is possibly the best of Dr. Seuss. It was my favorite as a child, and it is my favorite today.
Many of Seuss' books focus on characters and stories (Cat in the Hat), or on his delightful wordplay (Green Eggs and Ham, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish). The Sleep Book focuses instead on almost pure imagination.
Because of this, it may not have quite the marketing potential of his other books. There is no mascot, no catch-phrase. You won't find a Sleep Book t-shirt or plush toy.
What you will find here are lavish illustrations - huge surreal landscapes with impossible creatures sleeping in every available nook and cranny. You will find an exploration of an entire world of creatures as each prepares for the night in its own unique way.
You will also find creatures who are not quite perfect little sleepers. If your child is a sleepwalker, a sleeptalker, or a snorer, they will find creatures who do this every night as a sport. With this simple elegant device, Dr. Seuss manages to comfort children who may have these difficulties in his delightfully subtle fashion.
I know of no other book that is quite so good at putting a noisy mind to rest. Maybe Goodnight Moon. Maybe.
Every creature that sleeps should own this book.
on September 20, 2002
Shake myself awake again to tell my sleepy view... of Dr. Seuss's "Sleep Book," a childhood favorite that has survived all the insomniac years of growing up and turning a bit more vintage. So many of my childhood books have vanished somewhere along that winding time-route... somewhere on those many travels and address changes, moved from one previous life to another former life to another life begun today. Lost, but for this one. And when a family pet took a toothy chomp along the binding, no matter, I had to buy another. Children's book? Ah, for the child in all of us! For we all sleep, and we all dream. The first stretchy yawn is as delicious as the final one, and the overall feel of this Seussian masterpiece is cozy, and warm, and comforting. I remember well my fascination with the unique characters as a child, with all their quirky sleep routines. I found them fully as endearing when reading the book, over and over again, to my own children. With anticipation of grandchildren looming somewhere within the next decade... I look forward to sharing these cozy yawns with yet another generation. The book is a timeless classic.
This book is the next best thing to a ride in the car to help your youngster get to sleep. Dr. Seuss's Sleep Book will also provide lots of relaxing evening reads . . . that will leave you in a good mood for a restful night, as well.
Many people report having trouble getting to sleep throughout their entire lives. Sleep experts advise creating new behaviors that enourage drowsiness. Avoid caffeine. Put the lights on low. Have some quiet music. Avoid activities in bed other than sleeping (I've always wondered about that one, too, for the parents). Keep a regular schedule. Have some hot milk.
So Dr. Seuss right away changes the rules. "This Book is to be Read in Bed."
You will immediately meet a "very small bug . . . Van Vleck
is yawning so wide
you can look down his neck."
Now a yawn is catching. In fact, I'm yawning as I type this section.
Before I knew about this book, one of my favorite methods of helping our youngsters settle down was to go into their room to read a story while yawning uncontrollably. They could seldom resist yawning themselves for longer than two minutes. Pretty soon the eye lids were heavy. Dr. Seuss gives you some additional hypnotic suggestions to help with this process, so you'll soon be a sleep-inducing magician.
"The yawn of that one little bug is still spreading!"
"And people are gradually starting to say,
'I feel rather drowsy. I've had quite a day.'"
"Creatures are starting to think about rest.
Two Biffer-Baum Birds are now building their nest."
"Sleepy thoughts are spreading throughout the whole land."
What follows are lots of references to brushing your teeth before bedtime, turning the lights out, more yawns, and getting into bed.
"The number of sleepers is steadily growing."
These include stilt-walkers, the Hinkle-Horn Honking Club, the collapsible Frink, some who are talking in their sleep, Joe and Mo Redd-Zoff are sleep walking, the Hoop-Soup-Snoop Group, the Curious Crandalls, Chippendale Mupp bites his tail, Mr. and Mrs. J. Carmichael Krox, Zwiebach Motel guests, snorers who make music, Jedd, two Offts, a dreaming moose and goose, the Bumble-Tub Club sleeping afloat, and the salesmen in the Vale of Va-Vode sleeping all over the road (and everywhere else).
Nine trillion and two
Creatures are sleeping!
So . . . How about you?"
Obviously, the key to this book is to create an ever more . . . drowsy mood. Unlike the usual Dr. Seuss story, you want to s - l - o - w d - o - w - n a - s y - o - u g - o .
The book is rather long, so the cadence has a chance to create a rhythmic sense of relaxation. Reading the book can become one of those regular habits that is sleep inducing in this way.
The only book that compares with this one for relaxing your child into sleep is Good Night Moon, which is surely a staple in your repertoire by now. Older children do tire of that (which is great for wee ones), so they can graduate later to this book. Naturally, when your child starts to read this book to you, you should encourage putting yawns and snores in at the right places . . . while avoiding lethargy disturbing giggles and laughter.
Now I hope you feel like you're as snug as a bug in a rug, and the pillow is ever so soft. Take a large yawn, try two, and then go on to three. Pass along these soporofic hints, and you'll enjoy the land of nod, too.
As you can see, this book is great for creating a mood. You can enhance any experience by establishing the proper mood. What mood will make your child most want to learn when you are together?
Make your progress irresistible!
on March 29, 1999
At the age of 7, reading the sleep book would overcome my insomnia. Now, 30 years later, I have rediscovered its magic. My 4 year old daughter loves the good doctor's work, can recite "The Sneetches" and will pick up your efforts to skip pages.
Buy this book. It's the best investment you'll ever make for bedtimes.
on December 1, 1998
and I still love this book. Every once in a while, when the snow is falling outside my window, I bring it to bed with me and relive one of the nicest memories from my childhood- falling asleep at the Castle of Krupp with visions of Van Vleck, Biffer-Baum Birds and the Herk-Heimer sisters in my head.Like Sesame Street, Dr. Seuss offers not only entertainment for children but for adults, too. Pick up a copy for yourself or for a special child dear to your heart- you'll make a friend for life. Good night.