Hannah’s Night by Komako Sakai (2013).
In a way this book is not about sleep at all. It’s about Hannah waking up in the night and not being asleep. But everyone else in the house is—her mother and father and even her sister who shares the bedroom. Except for Shiro the cat. The cat is awake and keeps Hannah company.
click image(s) to enlarge
I see this as one girl’s first experience of independence. Her instinct is to wake her sister to keep her company, but “she didn’t budge.” Hannah’s alone (aside from said cat) and she’s wandering the house, making her own decisions, keeping herself entertained. She’s taking a big, brave step in growing up.
“So even when Hannah gave Shiro some milk and ate some cherries without asking, nobody told her off.”
When Hannah decides to go back to bed, it’s to play and draw.
It’s only when daylight begins that Hannah gets tired and goes back to sleep. Her own, private, nocturnal adventure is over.
That spread above, with the dove, that’s my favorite one. Sakai’s paint and colored pencil illustrations are exquisite. So layered and full of texture and even in the deep blue darkness, have so many bright highlights. And still, they portray the rough murkiness of childhood and a house at night. (She shares some commonalities with her predecessor, Taro Yashima.)
Oh and do check out Komako Sakai’s other books as well.
Thanks to Myrick Marketing for the images!
The Big Book of Slumber by Giovanna Zoboli & Simona Mulazzani (2014 in the U.S., first published in Italy).
This one’s a perfect bedtime book. The lilt of rhyme will carry you away.
I’m getting sleepy just looking at the cover on my desk. So many animals, so many places to sleep, none of them just regular.
“Hushaby hushaby, such comfy beds.
All of these creatures are resting their heads.
Bears under blankets, lion is snoring.
A twitch of his tail shows he’s dreaming he’s roaring.”
And it’s not just lions and bears. There’s a little boy with a stuffed bear on the first spread (and a girl on the last). And in between, dolphins under water, chickens in a henhouse, and a mama goat tucking baby goats into bed. Yes, many of these animals sleep in people-like beds. It’s adorable!!
One of my favorite details is all the different patterns of bedspreads throughout. Pattern is one of Simona Mulazzani‘s specialties.
A baboon! A badger! Camels and seals! This book is so very full of appeal!
Thanks to Eerdmans Books for Young Readers for the images!
I received a review copy of Hannah’s Night; opinions are my own.