So Sleepy Story

In the same quiet vein as Snow, Uri Shulevitz’s So Sleepy Story combines a whimsical storyline with dreamlike pictures to present a brief moment in the middle of the night when dishes dance, children wake, and a house is animated by unearthly music — for a few minutes at least. Booklist: “In a quiet room, ‘in a sleepy sleepy house [where] everything is sleepy sleepy,’ a boy slumbers deeply until music drifts through a window, rousing him (and all the surrounding objects) into joyful midnight revelry. Then the music floats away, and the room settles back into peaceful dreamtime. As in Dawn (1974) and Snow (1998), Shulevitz celebrates how the simplest things can be miraculously transformed. Unlike the objects in Goodnight Moon, everything in this room is alive with a discernable, expressive face: the dishes, the tables and chairs, the bookcase (filled with Shulevitz’s books). The objects all snooze languidly, and then explode into action as the equally animated musical notes, with wild smiles on their round heads, curl and dance through the window. The ink-and-watercolor scenes create an energetic tension between the deep, blue-gray sleepy-time scenes and the rainbow-streaked views of vibrant musical activity. The spare, hypnotically repetitive text and progressively deepening colors will pull preschoolers into the shadowy edges of sleep along with the story’s bewildered boy, and they’ll feel satisfied to see their suspicions confirmed: the living and the inanimate worlds aren’t so separate after all.” Giggle factor: not applicable. Adult enjoyment: if you like art. Illustrations: four jelly jars.

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~ by kaychubbuck on January 20, 2011.

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