Sleep Tight Tonight!
By Amber Stewart and Layn Marlow
Barron’s Educational Series, Inc., $14.99, 32 pages, 5 stars
Have you ever put your little one to bed for the evening only to find them crawling into your bed just a few minutes later, ready to cuddle and sleep there for the night? This is a phase many children experience, so it’s no surprise that little tigers can also feel nervous when making the transition from sleeping next to mom to sleeping all alone. Author Amber Marlow introduces readers to Piper and his mom in Too Small for My Big Bed.
Rather than write a book about a child resisting his grown-up bed, Stewart uses a tiger cub instead. To young readers, this makes the story seem much less like a gentle lesson about growing up (which it is) and more like a fun animal book (which it is). Mommy tiger offers Piper some excellent ideas to help him stay in his big bed (which happens to be a flat rock padded with soft grass out in the savannah). Mommy suggests counting to more than 10, and maybe Piper will fall back to sleep. She tells her son to think about all the neat things he did by himself during the day so staying in bed will seem easier. Most importantly, she says that even when Piper can’t see her, she is always with him, surrounding him with love. Find out if Piper sleeps through the night in his very own big bed!
Layn Marlow’s illustrations are stunning. The tigers’ faces are full of emotion and the landscape is warm and colorful. Just like human parents, mommy tiger knows that if her cub is to survive he must learn to be independent. But that doesn’t mean she cuts off her love and support. This is the lesson she teaches Piper and one that this charming book will teach your child.
Reviewed by Kathryn Franklin