Review Blog

Sep 14 2015

Too busy sleeping by Zanni Louise

cover image

Ill. by Anna Pignataro. Little Hare Press, 2015. ISBN 9781742979625
(Age: 4+) Recommended. Babies, Family, Grandparents, Bedtime. When baby Rueben is brought home from hospital, Eleanor longs to play with him. But he is never awake long enough. So begins this delightful book about babies and the impact they have on a family, particularly the siblings. Each set of four pages gives the reader an image of Eleanor doing something with Grandma or Grandad or Dad, being subtly kept away from the house while Mum takes care of their new child. And each page ends with a wish from the child that her new baby brother will play with her, but each finishes with the line that he is busy sleeping. Readers will love to predict the repeated lines and be surprised when the baby is finally awake for Eleanor, but with an unexpected result.
Children will instantly recognise the ideas in this book: the arrival of a new baby and the changes needed to be put in place at home, the place of the grandparents helping the family, seeing less of Mum and Dad as they concentrate their efforts more on the baby.
The gentle pastel and collage illustrations suit the story admirably. They echo the house and its contents, the family and the changes needed to be made with a new baby while the inclusion of materials, patches and laces from days gone by adds a feeling of continuity, of new beginnings but also links to the past. Readers will be intrigued with the collage and perhaps use the ideas in their own art work. This is a worthy addition to the class or school library.
Fran Knight

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