Skip to main content

Sleep Like a Tiger by Mary Logue, illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski


Sleep Like a Tiger is written by Mary Logue and magnificently illustrated by Pamela ZagarenskiSleep Like a Tiger is a charming going-to-bed book about a little girl who insists she is not sleepy. Her parents humor her as she goes through her bedtime routine of putting on pajamas, washing up and, as she climbs into bed, "stretching her toes down under crisp sheets, lying as still as an otter floating in a stream." They tell her that she can stay up all night if she wants and they leave the door open a crack after a brief discussion of the sleeping habits of other creatures in the world. As she tries to stay awake, the girl snuggles into her bed, imagining the ways that all the other animals prepare for sleep and finally, like a tiger in the jungle who stays strong by sleeping most of the day, she falls asleep.
Logue, who is a novelist an a poet, has written a sweet story that is above the usual fare when it comes to bedtime books for kids. But, what really shoots Sleep Like a Tiger over the moon are Zagarenski's gorgeous, dreamy, layered illustrations. Zagarenski is best known for her Caldecott Honor winning illustrations for the book Red Sings From Treetops written by award winning children's poet Joyce Sidman. And, as I learned in the interview from June of 2009 at 7 Impossible Things (for a more recent interview with Jules and more amazing artwork than I could include in this review, click here) Zagarenski creates here work, which is usually painted on board, with acrylics, colored pencils, collage and sometimes computer graphics. This results in a work of art that is a story in and of itself, and it is obvious why when you take a look at one of Zagarenski's sketches for Sleep Like a Tiger that she shared in her interview.
Among the layers of imagery, texture and patterns in Zagarenski's work are clues and surprises that add depth to the story. Before going to bed, the little girl is playing with her toys, toys that become the animals she imagines going to sleep. In every corner of her illustrations there are treasures to look for. In her interview at Seven Impossible Things, she said that she sent "mostly enlarged details from the paintings inside - subtle things one might not see, like the four leaf clover, just for the viewer who finds it, in the paws of the tiger gaining strength." On of my favorite, not exactly hidden, aspects of Zagarenski's illustrations is the inclusion of The Little Prince, a favorite and influential book for Zagarenski, as the bedtime book the girls parents had been planning on reading to her.

If you are as taken with Zagarenski's art as I am, you'll be happy to know that she has a website, Sacredbee, where you can buy greeting cards featuring her beautiful artwork! And, since it is the gift giving season, for those of you who want to own artwork by some of the best artists in the world of kid's books, don't miss Red Cap Cards, started by picture book illustrator Carrie Gifford and featuring cards by Jon Klassen and spectacular new comer Christian Robinson.







 More books illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski



This is Just to Say : Poems of Apology and Forgiveness by Joyce Sidman, reviewed at books4yourkids.com during poetry month a couple of years ago.

Red Sings from Treetops : A Year in Colors by Joyce Sidman


Coming in February 2013, Zagarenski teams up with inveterate kid's poet Jack Prelutsky on STARDINES Swim Across the Sky and other poems. I have an advance copy of this and it is fantastic! I'll review it as we near the publication date...

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Made by Dad: 67 Blueprints for Making Cool Stuff - Projects You Can Build For (and With) Kids! by Scott Bedford

On his personal website, Scott Bedforddescribes himself as an "Award Winning Online Creative Professional" working within the advertising and design industry. What is more interesting (and applicable here) is how hisWhat I Made website came to be. While sitting in a Starbucks with his restless young sons, trying to enjoy his latte, Bedford created something out of coffee stir sticks that ended up keeping his boys entertained, finishing his coffee in peace and sparking (re-sparking, really) his creative drive and reminding him of the "enormous joy gained from making things, even simple things, and that this joy is not the complexity or quality of the finished project but in the process of making itself. On Bedford'sWhat I Made website, he even shares Six Cool Coffee Shop Crafts for Kidsthat you can try out next time you want to enjoy your coffee and your kids are making that difficult. I've shared two below - be sure to check out the website and see the rest!

Be…

POP-UP: Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book, paper engineering by Ruth Wickings, illustrations by Frances Castle RL: All ages

POP-UP:  Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book with paper engineering by Ruth Wickings and illustrations by Frances Castle is THE COOLEST BOOK EVER!!!  I know that I haven't dedicated much time to pop-up books here, but they have always held a special place in my heart, and the phrase "paper engineering" is a favorite of mine. Although I didn't know what it was at the time, I did go through a paper engineering phase when I was ten or so. I would sneak off to the back of the classroom during independent work periods and go to town on the construction paper and glue and make these little free-standing dioramas. A huge fan of The Muppet Show (the original), I reconstructed the all-baby orchestra from an episode, drawing and coloring each baby and his/her instrument then gluing them onto a 3D orchestra section I had crafted out of brown construction paper.  I also made a 3D version of Snidely Whiplash throwing Nell off a cliff with Dudley Do-Right wa…

The Seeing Stick, written by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Daniela J Terrazini

The Seeing Stick is an original Chinese fairy tale written by the prolific (and prolifically award winning) Jane Yolen. First published in 1977 with illustrations by Remy Charlip (author and illustrator of the brilliantly fun picture book Fortunately and friend and muse to Brian Selznick, who asked him to pose as George Méliès while he was working on the Caldecott winning The Invention of Hugo CabretThe Seeing Stick was reissued with new illustrations by Daniela J. Terrazini in 2009. I have not seen Charlip's version, but Terrazini's is a beautiful work of art and the book itself is yet another magnificently packaged book published by Running Press, the house that brought us Steven Arntson's The Wikkeling, yet another superbly and uniquely packaged children's book with artwork by Terrazini. Interestingly, both The Wikkeling and The Seeing Stick were designed by Frances J Soo Ping Chow.

The Seeing Stick begins, "Once in the ancient walled citadel of Peking there l…