“Go back to sleep, it’s the middle of the night” is a phrase heard in children’s bedrooms most every night. Although it usually comes from parents of little ones, in this delightful children’s book it comes from Willy. Willy carefully tucks his beloved belongings in their special places at bedtime, and then he goes to bed, too. “Squeak, squeak, MEOW, baaaa!” Bo Bear pounces on Wheelie Mouse, who, in turn, jumps on Charlie Sheep. All the toys and stuffed animals wake up, come to life and perform their funny antics, which awakens Willy. The soccer ball is flying across the room, blocks are in the air and tails are being bitten. This just won’t do! After Willy put the animals where they probably belonged in the first place, right next to him in his bed, they all settle down for a good night’s sleep.
Children and parents will relate to the rituals that Willy goes through at bedtime, as he finds his very special belongings and settles down for slumber. Rare is the child that goes to bed without drinks of water, clearing monsters from under the bed, and gathering up special stuffed animals or toys to sleep with. Mischievous smiles on the faces of the naughty, little animals let the readers know they are in for a treat. Their tricks mimic what children actually do when getting ready for bed, such as one last soccer kick, playfully jostling with their siblings, or winding up their toys one more time.
Jones has been writing poetry since a young child and is adept at incorporating it into the beginning pages. An instant hit, There Once Was a Ring-tailed Lemur was written by Jones when she was in third grade.
Four time nominee for Canada’s prestigious Governor General’s Award for Illustration, Pascale Constantin’s warm palette offers nighttime comfort, and her fanciful characters dance on the pages, as they come to life in the middle of the night. The artful design of stepped, die-cut pages add to the flow of the illustrations and story in a distinctive manner.
Willy’s problem-solving technique of tucking his treasures right next to him in bed will be sure to delight young readers from two to seven years of age, as each night they Go Back To Sleep
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