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Sleep Like a Tiger (Caldecott Medal - Honors Winning Title(s)) Hardcover – October 23, 2012
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From School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1-The common theme of a child not ready for bed receives fresh treatment here. When a young girl repeatedly declares that she is not sleepy, her parents remain calm. She dutifully dresses in pajamas and washes up. After climbing into bed, she again proclaims that she is wide awake and questions her parents about how things in the world go to sleep. They patiently respond by describing the sleeping habits of familiar animals. After they kiss her goodnight and turn out the light, the child incorporates her parents' descriptions of the various animals into her nighttime routine. Like the strong tiger, she, too, falls fast asleep. The narrative flows well as the mood becomes increasingly tranquil. There is much dialogue in the first portion of the story. These conversations between daughter and parents are realistic. Young listeners will identify with the child's desire to remain awake. Zagarenski's stylized artwork shines with interesting details. For instance, the family is portrayed as royalty. The artist's distinctive spreads are a combination of digitally created art and mixed-media paintings on wood. The artist incorporates many patterns into the characters' clothing, rooms, blankets, and pillows. Her attention to detail can be found again on the endpapers where primitive circuslike train cars, a tiger riding proudly atop one of them, appear in sunlight and later in moonlight. The dust jacket depicting the sleeping youngster curled up beside a dozing tiger ushers in the gentle and calm mood of this memorable picture book.-Lynn Vanca, Freelance Librarian, Akron, OHα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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Top customer reviews
The parents of this little girl are clever. She doesn’t need to go to sleep – she just has to put her pajamas on. And because it feels so nice to be clean she chooses to brush her teeth – and then slips under the cover of her bed, although she is wide awake. “Does everything go to sleep”, she asks… The little girl is positive she wants to stay awake all night long. But the dog curled up on the couch, the cat in front of the fireplace, cuddling bats, circling whales, curled up snails, cozy bears and last, but not least, the strong tiger convince her to curl up just like them – and she “fells fast – asleep”.
“Sleep like a tiger” is a Caldecott honor book. The Caldecott medal is awarded annually to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children. It’s not surprising that the illustrations by Pamela Zagarenski were honored with the 2013 Randolph Caldecott Honor Award. The colorful pictures invite you to dream, as does Mary Logue’s story…
It’s one of the books that calm down our active daughter. She doesn’t fall asleep during reading loud, but then again – who does? I’m not, no matter how tired I am… But she loves to browse through the pages on her own. And I enjoy the simple, but compelling story and the artistic illustrations. Because now matter how much you read – there are only a handful of books that are really special. This is one of them.
I have a slightly different take on the characters than some of the other reviewers. I do not see this as a royal family and this child is not a princess, except perhaps in her own imagination. They live in a village in a house no more or less grand than those around it. The house is simple and cozy with few furnishings and no servants. There is a dog, a cat, and a warm fireplace, not unlike what many children grow up with. The little girl wears her crown to bed; if you look carefully little crowns and wheels appear throughout the book, a part of the artist's fanciful style. However, the beauty of a children's book is that it can be whatever you imagine so perhaps they are a king, queen and princess after all.
I have both the hardbound version and the Kindle version of this book. A few words about the Kindle version ... as is true of any picture book, the Kindle version cannot replace the full size book that you can hold in your hands. However, the Kindle version is wonderfully portable for waiting rooms and such, the artwork is still lovely to look at, and your hardbound copy can stay safely at home. The formatting of the book on the Kindle is a function of the Kindle app on your device. Complaints about app functionality need to be addressed to the app developers as they are the only ones who can fix them. If you think you might be bothered by the smaller size of the pages on your tablet, the Kindle version may not be for you, but this fabulous book deserves 5 stars.
The illustrations are more colorful and detailed than we usually like, my daughter and I usually prefer simple, gentle, and minimalist, but they are so inspiring and whimsical we could not help but fall in love. The illustrations themselves really tell several stories that go much deeper than the written words. Maybe not something a child can grasp right off the bat, but I love children's books with an element that enchants the adult reader as well. This is a great book for the family to enjoy. I can easily see an older sibling snuggling with a younger one while this book is read, and everyone enjoying the words and illustrations.
The actual written story is short. With a slow, steady pace and maybe a bit of dramatic flair in your voice, you can easily extend the reading.
If you aren't sure, check it out from the library first. I highly recommend at least giving it a try.