Close Your Eyes: A Book of Sleepiness

Albert Whitman. Mar. 2021. 32p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780807512715.
Baby-Toddler–An omniscient narrator offers soothing instructions on page after page of baby animals, ushering them toward sleep. It opens with “It’s bedtime, baby,” but it’s clear from the yawning kitten surrounded by toys that there is still some time for play left. “I bet you can’t wait to close your eyes,” continues the narration. Then the discovery: to the baby koala on the page climbing a vine, and to readers, “Oh! You are WIDE awake!” In a piece of reverse psychology, the narrator admonishes readers not to look at the sleepy puppies, and to ignore anything soft, snuggly, or sleepy. “We won’t even peek at this drowsy lamb.” That’s when onlookers find out that an adult owl is the narrator, counseling a young one in this catalog of cute. This book has in its favor truly adorable stars, drawn with photorealistic textures against soft night skies, with eyes that shine with wakefulness.
VERDICT A perfect bedtime work, this has sly humor for knowing toddlers, and an ending that guarantees the proper outcome for pre-nap story hours.

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