By Hans-Christian Schmidt & Cynthia Vance, Illustrated by Andreas Nemet
Abbeville Press, 18 pages, $6.95

Usual and Unusual Animal Parents and Babies

Are you looking for a new book to calm your little one into a deep night’s sleep? Children will drift off to slumberland as you read aloud the melodic and rhyming words of Are You Sleeping Little One? by Hans-Christian Schmidt. Travel from the doghouse in the backyard to the undersea ocean waters as animal parents check on drowsy babies. Mother caterpillar makes sure that her baby is tucked into its peapod after dinner. Point out to kids how different animals sleep. Little giraffe sleeps standing up! Little owlet snoozes during the day and wakes up to greet the night. Little joey nuzzles into Mama kangaroo’s soft pouch. Little bat hangs upside down while sleeping.

When falling asleep, kids are often reassured to know that their parents are still awake while they sleep. In each picture, mom or dad’s eyes are wide open while baby’s eyes are shut tight (except for baby fish that sleeps with its eyes open under the water!). Andreas Nemet’s beautiful illustrations capture the essence of the relationship between parents and their children. Bold colors fill the pages and make the images pop. This sturdy board book will hold up to multiple readings and hands-on enjoyment.

Reviewed by Kathryn Franklin