How do you get to sleep when you cannot; the conditions are just not right? Arlo would love to know – he is so tired. Luckily Owl has the answer – a little rhyme that sets the mood perfectly – and without any more fuss, Arlo falls asleep. Indeed, the little rhyme is so effective, Arlo is able to help his friends when their sleep is interrupted, whether it is Owl in the daytime – or the whole pride of lions in the night. Perfect
Catherine Rayner’s vigorous pen strokes capture the size and energy of Arlo but are artfully softened for Owl’s feathery weight, bringing both creatures to life. They dominate the pages, solid, active – or slumped in sleep. Rayner has given them real presence. Their world is a background created by luminous vibrant watercolour washes that are both subtle and precise. From the opening cover spread of the dawn with the trees emerging from the early morning mist to the closing end papers where they recede into darkness, we follow Arlo across the wide expanse of a savannah world. The text is a pleasure to read – ideal for sharing with a class, even more perfect for bedtime, with the lilting bedtime rhyme (surely this will become a staple it is so catchy). Here is a picture book where words and images work together perfectly. (My only reservation – on the final spread the choice of font colour makes the text very difficult to read. This is a shame, rather detracting from what is an outstanding offering.) Highly recommended.