Review of Bunny Should Be Sleeping

Bunny Should Be Sleeping Bunny Should Be Sleeping
by Amy Hest; illus. by Renata Liwska
Preschool    Porter/Holiday    40 pp.
3/24    9780823453412    $18.99
e-book ed.  9780823457441    $11.99

Bunny has been lying awake in bed—when he should be sleeping—waiting for Dad to check on him. The youngster’s expressive body language and his impatience (“Come on, Dad! Check on me, check on me, check on me!”) convey relatable child behaviors. But “sometimes a bunny simply can’t wait. He just needs his dad!” Bunny gathers supplies (water, blanket, cookie, “their special favorite book”) and heads to Dad’s room. In this reversal of what’s clearly their regular routine, Bunny discovers his father asleep, and Dad continues to sleep through Bunny’s offering of each item, which Bunny then enjoys himself. Finally, after letting out a “great big sigh,” Bunny stands on tiptoe to wake his father up with a “tap, tap!” on the nose. As Dad carries Bunny back to Bunny’s bed, he reassures his son that “sometimes a dad just needs his little bunny.” This idyllic episode in a cozy home speaks to the love and dependability at the heart of their relationship. Hest’s rhythmic text has a soothing, lulling cadence. The soft hues and textures awash in moonlight in Liwska’s digital illustrations convey the perfect mood for this warmhearted bedtime story, which features a refreshing portrayal of what appears to be a single dad caring for his son and vice versa.

From the May/June 2024 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Cynthia K. Ritter
Cynthia K. Ritter

Cynthia K. Ritter is managing editor of The Horn Book, Inc. She earned a master's degree in children's literature from Simmons University. She served on the 2019 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award committee.

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