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Tell Me Something Happy Before I Go to Sleep Hardcover – September 1, 1998


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 1
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Harcourt Brace & Company; 1st edition (September 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 015201795X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0152017958
  • Product Dimensions: 11.4 x 9.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #750,285 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Every little bunny should have a brother as kind and thoughtful as Willa's big brother Willoughby. When Willa can't sleep because she is so afraid of bad dreams, her brother leans down from the top bunk to encourage his little sister to think happy thoughts... about her chicken slippers, her blue-and-white jumpsuit, and tomorrow's anticipated pleasures. That very night, Willoughby takes Willa on a piggy-back ride around the cozy tree house to check on her breakfast food, her toys in their basket, and the quiet world sleeping outside, all the while explaining in soft, soothing tones how everything in their snug little world is waiting for the next morning to unfold. He tells her that the morning is waiting "For grass to grow, flowers to bloom, and leaves to flutter. For clouds to float, wind to blow, and sun to shine. For birds to fly, bees to buzz, and ducks to quack." "'That's a lot of happy things,' said Willa." Joyce Dunbar knows just how to set the scene for sleep, and Debi Gliori's charming, expressive bunnies are very, very cute. (Click to see a sample spread. From Tell Me Something Happy Before I Go to Sleep by Joyce Dunbar, illustration ©1998 by Debi Gliori, reproduced by permission of Harcourt Brace & Company.) (Ages 3 to 6) --Marcie Bovetz

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Willa can't go to sleep, so she enlists the help of her big brother Willoughby. He tells her to "think of something happy," but the toddler bunny can't think of anything on her own. Patiently, Willoughby points out happy things that await her in the morning: her chicken slippers and blue-and-white jumpsuit, breakfast food in the kitchen, toys in the living room, and the morning itself. Satisfied, Willa goes to sleep in his arms. This is a perfect book for wide-awake toddlers. The simple but beautifully crafted text has a soft rhythm to it, and paints a touching picture of the warm and loving relationship between the siblings. This is again reflected in the lovely illustrations, which radiate a sense of peace and coziness, and have all sorts of wonderful details to discover. The expressions on the bunnies' faces are just right. Their tree house has decorative accents throughout, and Willa has footie pajamas with carrots and lettuce printed on them. The oversize format insures that the book can be used in storytimes as well as for bedtime read-alouds. This is a winner in the tradition of Sam McBratney's Guess How Much I Love You (Candlewick, 1995) and Margaret Wise Brown's Goodnight Moon (HarperCollins, 1947).
Judith Constantinides, East Baton Rouge Parish Main Library, LA
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

I love the way it is written as well as the illustrations.
Susan A. Verbalis
This book is a must-have for all little ones, especially for those with siblings.
T. Jones
This is a delightful and comforting book with very beautiful illustrations.
"chloemom"

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 2, 2000
Format: Hardcover
If you would like to foster compassion and empathy between siblings, this book is a must have for bedtime reading! I have read this book to my son almost every evening and he just loves the story. It is endearing to see normal fears presented by the charming little sister bunny and to have those fears put to rest by her caring older brother. The story teaches children how to show love to their siblings through simple acts of kindness. The illustrations are vibrant and intricate with great attention to detail. This is an old-fashioned tale of family caring wrapped in a beautiful package.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By "chloemom" on October 29, 1999
Format: Hardcover
How I wish I had a loving brother like Willoughby! Thanks to the author and illustrator for teaching us to appreciate the beauty of our nature and surroundings. This is a delightful and comforting book with very beautiful illustrations. I've read it to my four-year-old girl several times and she now can read the lines on her own "For clouds to float, wind to blow, and sun to shine ..." What I love it most is, my girl will come and snuggle me up in bed every time we finish reading this book.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 30, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I have a two year old who just received this book for Christmas and it immediately became her favorite book. She only wants to read the "raggit" (rabbit) book. It's surprising to me that she'll sit through all the text which she normally doesn't have the patience for. The illustrations are wonderful and the text is as soothing as the sentiment. I can't say that I've enjoyed a children's book this much in a long time.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 9, 1999
Format: Hardcover
What a wonderful book, it has found it's way right into my husband's heart as well as the rest of the family. It is one of the sweetest books we have read, and truly a joy for the whole family.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 3, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
We really enjoy this sweet story. I like the the brother-sister relationship in the book. Willoughby is a helpful, patient, and caring big brother. The illustrations are fun and playful. The overall theme of the book is this loving relationship, plus the idea that "the morning is waiting just for you but it can't come unless you go to sleep." We have often used this idea (and this book) to help our son calm down for sleep.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By M. Kehn on October 23, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Cute little Willa is having trouble getting to sleep. Willoughby helps by pointing out all the happy things just waiting for her the next day. This is a sweet, comforting book. My 3 1/2 year old and 6 year old both ask for it regularly. I would definitely recommend this book.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Hui Liao (Poeme68@aol.com) on February 25, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I have a feeling that this book will become another classic bedtime story. It encourages young ones to think of something positive and happy before they go to bed. It encourages them to look around their surroundings and nature to find joyful thoughts. The idea that "the morning likes waking you up. That's what makes the morning happy" is so unique. Going to sleep becomes something purposeful and fun because that is the only way the morning could "wake you up." In another word, going to sleep becomes a positive act instead of a passive one. What especially makes me love this book is that the one who is soothing the little bunny (who is afraid of nightmare) is her big brother instead of her mother. This very positive book is an excellent bedtime story as well as a good choice to deal with sibling relationship. Ages 4-8.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Kay C. on May 13, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This is my second favorite "night night" book ever. (after the venerable GoodNight Moon) And it has many of the same aspects. A simple repetative story line that is comforting to young children and wording that is almost melodic to read. The wording is indeed repatitive, but any early childhood expert can tell you that for a young child that is what draws them into the story. Remember, it is not written for an adult. The fact that "Willa" and "Willoughby" are repeated on every page makes the story instantly familiar to a young child. The story is sweet and the illustrations are georgeous. My copy has been patched many times now and I smile whenever I see it.
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