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Review of Go Sleep in Your Own Bed!

Go Sleep in Your Own Bed!
by Candace Fleming; illus. by Lori Nichols
Preschool    Schwartz & Wade/Random    40 pp.    g
5/17    978-0-375-86648-7    $17.99
Library ed. 978-0-375-96648-4    $20.99
e-book ed.  978-0-375-98767-0    $10.99

A cozy evening scene with a girl reading in bed, her window overlooking the silhouette of a barn, welcomes readers and listeners in to what should be a peaceful prelude to sleep. A closer look reveals that all is chaos on the farm as the animals settle in for the night. “Pig toddled to his sty, waddley-jog. But when he plopped down — Moooo! Who do you think he found?” Not only is the cow in the pigsty, but the chickens are in her stall, the horse is in the chicken coop, the sheep is in the stable, the dog is in the sheep enclosure, and so on. With its amusing onomatopoeia (“clompety-stomp,” “peckety-droop”) and cross, snippy farm animals, the story is highly entertaining and pairs smoothly with the bold, expressive art (in acrylic ink and colored digitally) to generate laughs and interactivity during a read-aloud. Meanwhile, the rhythm of the pithy text and the repetition in both language and plot create a satisfying pace and structure for young listeners. When, in the end, the dog chases the cat out of his kennel, the cat runs to the house, where the girl scoops it up — “Oh, there you are!” — and welcomes it into her own bed, allowing the story to end as gently as it began. But this time, the farm’s inhabitants may finally get some rest.

From the May/June 2017 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

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Julie Roach About Julie Roach

Julie Roach manages youth services at the Cambridge Public Library in Massachusetts. She also teaches children’s literature at Simmons College’s Graduate School of Library and Information Science and at Lesley University.

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