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 lead into poetry month because the writing is lyrical and creates beautiful imagery for the reader. (I'll just mention that these are the best fictional parents 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. After reading the book, the students shared their ideas. I wish I had had them share their ideas prior to reading the book, as I did with last year's students. I think they were about to think more broadly.
I used this opportunity to see how different media might influence their answers.
In one class, each student found a book about the animal he or she slept like and then used the iPads to record each other talking about his or her sleeping habits.
In another class, I created a generic slide show in Kid Pix and had the students record themselves explaining their sleeping habits.
In the third class, the students put pen to paper.
In the last class, the students their ideas in a whole group conversation.
"I sleep like a sheep because I walk in my sleep."
"I sleep like a tiger because I sleep a lot and I like to sleep in the morning."
"I sleep like a shark because I keep my eyes open."
"I sleep like a rabbit because I sleep quietly."
"I sleep like a snake because I curl up."
"I sleep like a whale because I rolled out of my bed."
"I sleep like a leopard because I roam around in my bed."
There were a surprising number of students who sleep quietly like rabbits or bunnies. I wonder if their parents would agree?
This is a beautifully-written, gorgeously-illustrated story, I am glad to have shared it with my students. Have you used this book with your students? Please share your projects!