Review Blog

Sep 11 2017

I can't sleep by Stephanie Blake

cover image

Gecko Press, 2017. ISBN 9781776571642
(Ages: 3-7) Courage. This is a new book featuring Simon, the cheeky rabbit from Poo Bum, Super Rabbit and others. Stephanie Blake's unique bold illustrations and block primary colour pages are instantly recognisable. In this instalment, Simon, who is now much older and less cheeky than in Poo Bum, builds a MEGA GIGA-NORMOUS, STUPENDOUS hut with his little brother Casper. It isn't until they are snuggled up in bed that Casper realises he has left his special blanket hanging on a tree in the hut. 'Wheresmyblanky? Intahut! I want BLANKY!' Casper tries reasoning with him but it is no use. 'NO BLANKY? NO BED!' So Simon, super brother that he is, determines to get Casper his blanky and sets off into the dark, dark night. When he finds it he feels like Super Mega Rabbit, so proud and so unafraid. Then he hears a noise and sees something moving close by in the dark. He turns around to see a MEGA GIGA-NORMOUS MONSTER! When Simon reaches home and tells Casper about his adventure Casper is so proud of his brave big brother.
This is perhaps one of the best stories about Simon, aided by the special relationship between him and his little brother. It is a brilliant example of sibling solidarity (playing together, Simon wanting to help his little brother, Casper feeling proud of his big brother). Most children will identify with losing something that is special to them or having to be brave for a younger sibling. Those with younger siblings will also relate to having to be good interpreters ('Hangit ober dere' shouts Casper). The language used is fantastic and reads very well, both in the narration and in Simon and Casper's speech. The dialogue especially feels incredibly natural.
This is a great book to share with children with siblings as it models positive behaviours and will encourage them to feel proud of how they show empathy and care in their own relationships.
Nicole Nelson

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