This week I am reviewing Sleep Like a Tiger written by Mary Logue and illustrated by Pamela Zaarenski. Maybe I felt attracted to this book because I need more of what it is telling a story about! A little girl, reluctant to succumb to the natural inclination to slumber, asks her very patient parents, "Does everything in the world go to sleep?" In lovely sleepy similes her parents assure her that all the creatures, even those which do not seem to, sleep.
Finally the little girl tells of a creature who sleeps to become strong; the tiger. So slowly, even after her parents give her permission to stay awake all night, she falls asleep like the strong tiger.
Accompanying Ms. Logue's prose are the dreamy paintings of Ms. Zagarenski. Each one is filled with pattern as you might find on soft comforters and quilts. The soft pastels sooth the eye as the story soothes the ears. And in the midst of the patterns are figures which seem flat in one way, but are solid and heavy in another, giving a feeling of settling down and finding the place to stay and rest.
My children listened to the story just before bed. My son, a third grader, recognized the similes Ms. Logue use to describe the sleep the animals and enjoyed them very much. As they listened they became quiet and restful.
In this beautiful picture book, we say goodbye to the sun and follow the moon and stars across the surreal landscape, watching the little girl's eyes grow heavier with each turning page. Ms. Logue's skill as a story teller shines in this bedtime tale about settling into bed and Ms. Zagarenski tucks us in with sleepy bears, slumbering dogs and snoring tigers.
To see more of the work of Caldecott honor medalist Pamela Zagarenski go to her site. Mary Logue is the author of other works intended for adults and young adults. For a great review of this book written by Julia Danielson, follow this link to Kirkus Reviews. You can purchase this picture book at Amazon.com or visit your local library. This is Ms. Logue's first picture book and I think, as I drift off, that she has created a beautiful piece of art.