Reviews for Sleepy, Oh So Sleepy

Booklist Reviews 2010 June #1
*Starred Review* Although a human baby yawns on the book jacket, this soporific picture book introduces various animals at bedtime on each of the first 12 double-page spreads. The text begins, "Tiny baby panda, / sleepy, oh so sleepy. / Tiny baby ostrich, / sleepy, oh so sleepy. / Tiny baby lion, / sleepy, oh so sleepy. / Where's my sleepy baby?" On one double-page spread after another, a baby animal closes its eyes to sleep, protected by a watchful parent. Written on a single page, the text would look like four stanzas followed by a coda. Though woven through with words used repeatedly in the verses, the ending shifts its sense and rhythm as subtly as breathing shifts when someone drifts off to sleep. Briefly the focus narrows to the human children, then broadens to include all the world's sleeping babies. Formed using Fleming's signature medium of "pulp painting," which simultaneously creates the image and the paper that bears it, and accented with pastel pencil, the large-scale illustrations are bold in form and rich in color. With mesmerizing words rolling along, this large-format bedtime book does its job so well that it's hard to repress a contented yawn when the story winds down to its quiet ending. Copyright 2010 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2011 Spring
"Tiny baby panda, / sleepy, oh so sleepy. / Tiny baby ostrich, / sleepy, oh so sleepy." Fleming's lullaby-like text features twelve animal babies and one little human slumbering peacefully in close-up portraits (a parent is reassuringly part of each picture). The text follows a comforting pattern, freeing listeners to lose themselves in the sumptuous pulp painting illustrations. Copyright 2010 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2010 #4
Fleming's sumptuous pulp painting illustrations, combined with her lullaby-like text, should come with a warning label (or a promise): "Will cause drowsiness." The narrative could hardly be simpler or more soothing: "Tiny baby panda, / sleepy, oh so sleepy. / Tiny baby ostrich, / sleepy, oh so sleepy." Twelve different animal babies, including a lion, penguin, and possum, slumber peacefully in close-up portraits. After every third animal, the narrator asks (in smaller type), "Where's my sleepy baby?" The text follows a comforting pattern, freeing listeners to lose themselves in stunning double-page spreads that practically shimmer with light and dark, color and texture; shadowy indigo accents contribute to the hushed atmosphere. The impressionistic illustrations imbue the animals with natural personality-even managing to make a baby ostrich and anteater look cute. Each baby's parent is reassuringly part of the picture, sometimes just its feet or side, but a presence nonetheless. The book ends with a sleepy human child being tucked into bed-"Here's my sleepy baby, / my tiny sleepy baby." The calming blues and greens of the last two spreads are picked up in the book's final image of the earth in a sea of stars. "Sleep tight, sleepy babies, tiny sleepy babies." Gorgeous and effective. Copyright 2010 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2010 July #2
Fleming's somnolent latest peeks in on several baby-parent pairs as the little ones get ready to bed down. Seemingly tailored to the smallest listeners, the simple, patterned text and repeated refrain make it easy for them to join in the reading: "Tiny baby panda, / sleepy, oh so sleepy." Ostrich, lion, penguin, giraffe, otter, koala, kangaroo, possum, elephant, anteater and orangutan round out the animal cast, giving children the chance to revisit their favorites while also introducing some lesser-known creatures. Interspersed is the repeated question, "Where's my sleepy baby?" giving children another chance to interact with both the text and their adult reader. The end sees the narrator's own sleepy baby tucked in and sleeping peacefully. The author's signature pulp-painting illustrations fill the spreads with mottled jewel tones and the texture of the handmade paper. The animal babies take center stage--just enough of a parent is shown to help with identification. Audience participation required...likely again and again and again. (Picture book. 2-5) Copyright Kirkus 2010 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2010 July #3

It's bedtime for all creatures great and small--including humans--in this cozy picture book. Each spread, rendered in Fleming's (Beetle Bop) signature medium of vibrantly dyed paper pulp, depicts a baby critter cuddling with a parent and headed to dreamland. Accompanying each of the intimate portraits is a simple couplet ("Tiny baby ostrich,/ sleepy, oh so sleepy. Tiny baby lion,/ sleepy, oh so sleepy") and, every third scene or so, the query, "Where's my sleepy baby?" After watching koala, elephant, orangutan, and other creatures drift off, the narrator does indeed find "my sleepy baby," a yawning, dark-haired infant, who gets tucked into bed along with a sock monkey. Fleming's palette is exceptionally bright and lively--no fluffy pastel portraits here. Instead, readers get bold scenes of animal parents and children at very close range, with fiery outlines in blue and red. But despite the kinetic quality of Fleming's artwork, by book's end the rhythmic repetition of the titular phrase is likely to have sent readers quietly on to sleep, just like it's supposed to. Ages 2-5. (Aug.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2010 July

PreS--Fleming's pulp papermaking technique, with its soft edges, warm colors, and highly textured look, gives this book just the right tone. The repetition of "sleepy, oh so sleepy" pairs well with the repeated question, "Where's my sleepy baby?" as various animals are introduced. From the familiar panda and penguin to the lesser-known anteater and orangutan, the many creatures are depicted in their natural environments. The final spread features a tiny human baby, which, for any child still awake after this soothing read, will be a pleasing sight.--Barbara Elleman, Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, Amherst, MA

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