Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Read, Read, Read, said the Baby: Shhh! I'm sleeping by Dorothee de Monfreid

I've been longing to see this book ever since it came out. I love de Monfreid's illustrations in various quirky picture books, especially I'd really like to eat a child and I was interested to see how she handled a board book format.

The book is formatted into a tall rectangle, and on each side of the spreads are metal bunk beds, as seen on the cover. The first spread shows a darkened room. Only one dog is awake and her frustrated eyes are clearly the result of the interesting noises emanating from the 2nd bed on the left (that's the white and brown dog on the cover if you're interested). The lights pop on and one by one the dogs switch beds, chat, and join a friend on the other side for a story. Finally, the night is over, Popov (the noisy dog) awakes, and wonders why everyone else is sleeping on one bed!

Monfreid's illustrations, washed in the blue light of night-time, are sweet and funny at the same time. Each dog has a distinct personality and drawing and there are little details like reading lights and stuffed animals to add interest.

Verdict: The plot of this is a bit complex for a baby or toddler, and the odd, tall shape may be difficult to fit on a shelf, but there will definitely be a small but appreciative audience and I recommend adding it if you are looking to diversify your board book collection.

ISBN: 9781927271957; Published 2016 by Gecko Press; Review copy provided by the publisher for Cybils; Donated to the library

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