If you don’t induce sleepiness in your audience, or indeed yourself, after reading this one, I’d be surprised: it’s ideal bedtime reading and a true delight.
We drop in on a glowing forest as the sun sinks over the animals, most of which are already feeling sleepiness coming upon them. The mice yawn, so too do the hares, the deer and Great Big Bear; they’re all ready for some shut-eye. Not so Little Bear though; he’s wide awake and wanting someone to play with. But finding a playmate at such a late hour soon seems in itself to induce a feeling of sleepiness in the little fellow. After an enormous stretch just he cannot stop himself from giving a great big yawn whereupon his patient parent lifts him up and carries him, past the already snoring mice, hares and deer, and safely to bed – at last. The stars shine and the moon shines on a sleeping animal world. Zzzzz ssssss.
Chris Haughton’s characteristic shadowy, blockish images stand out beautifully from the magenta background used for much of the story, a story that starts with pages cut in keeping with the size of the animals hidden behind them and set against white. The whole thing has a gently unfolding cinematic feel to it as the artist moves us forwards, with whole page and smaller framed strips, towards the dark of the sleeping world. And to add another dimension to the whole thing, the end papers show the southern and northern night skies – respectively.