The book is written by novelist and poet, Mary Logue, and illustrated by the amazing artist Pamela Zagarenski. Zagarenski was recognized with a Caldecott Honor for her work in this book. You can hear her talk about her illustrations here: TeachingBooks Interview.
Zagarenski's detailed and engaging illustrations celebrate this gentle story of a young girl who is not ready to go to bed, but who ultimately takes on the sleeping habits of the animals she and her parents are discussing. I thought it was a great way to wrap up poetry month because the writing is lyrical and creates beautiful imagery for the reader. (I'll just mention that these are the best parents ever and wish I had read this book when my own children were young and not tired!)
Prior to reading the book, I asked the students to think about what type of animal they would describe themselves as when they are sleeping. I did this prior to reading the book because I thought they would be more creative in their thinking...and they were! I loved hearing them describe themselves as sleepers:
"I sleep like a bat because sometimes my feet end up on my pillow."
"I sleep like a burrowing animal deep down in my covers."
"I sleep like a caterpillar because I lie straight out."
"I sleep like an inch worm because I am wiggly."
"I sleep like a roly-poly bug all curled up."
"I sleep like a butterfly because I am quiet."
"I sleep like a wolf because I don't like people to come too close when I am sleeping."
"I sleep like a lion because I snore."
"I sleep like a pig because I take up all the room."
"I sleep like a cat because I change positions."
"I sleep like a lion because I wake up easily at any noise."
There were a few dog and cat sleepers who slept on their side curled up and one non animal sleeper, "I sleep like a rolling pin because I roll over and fall out of bed."
After sharing these characteristics and identifying with the "not sleepy" young girl, we read the story. They loved it and made connections to the otter, whale, tiger and other sleeping animals in the story. So much fun.
This is a beautifully-written, gorgeously-illustrated story, I am glad to have shared it with my students.