Reviews for Sweet Dreams
Booklist Reviews 2012 April #2
This lullaby has all the right soporific elements for ushering children to sleep. As a mother readies her daughter for bed, she speaks of the "great adventures" awaiting her little one in dreamland. Lewis' (I Love You like Crazy Cakes, 2000) quiet poem is full of vivid imagery: "Nighttime says a quick ‘sleep tight' / To the fading morning glories-- / Then wakes up all the moonflowers / And listens to their stories." Like many bedtime books before it, this winds its way through the natural world, spying on little critters--from a teeny mouse to a baby bear--as they prepare for sleep while also introducing nocturnal creatures. Corace's stylized illustrations, in pen and ink and watercolor, are rendered in a color palette that fittingly darkens from teal to turquoise to midnight blue, brightening for a brief interstice about morning approaching. The last spread is the prettiest, as the walls of the girl's room melt away, and she is shown sleeping outdoors, a smiling moon shining overhead. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2012 Fall
A mother lulls her child to sleep with vignettes about creatures in nighttime versus daytime: "The butterflies have gone to sleep, / Their wings no longer flapping. / Making room for the nighttime moths, / Their soft gray wings now tapping." The cadence sometimes falters, but its tone soothes. Rich watercolor and pen-and-ink illustrations capture the advent of both night and morning.
Kirkus Reviews 2012 January #2
Lewis (I Love You Like Crazy Cakes, 2000) pens 15 rhythmic quatrains designed to lull a child to sleep. A mother readies a little girl for bed, promising a night of adventures. "Nighttime says a quick ‘Sleep tight' / To the fading morning glories-- / Then wakes up all the moonflowers / And listens to their stories." Succeeding verses present woodland vignettes focused on mice, moths, crickets and other nocturnal creatures. Before the concluding tuck-in, there's a six-page interstice about daytime, as Mr. Moon nods off: "Say good morning to Miss Sunshine / And the company she keeps." The cadences sometimes bump, and sense is occasionally sacrificed for rhyme: "The butterflies have gone to sleep, / Their wings no longer flapping, / Making room for the nighttime moths, / Their soft gray wings now tapping." Corace's full-bleed watercolors often charm: Three nested owlets await mother's return in a many-branched, stylized tree against a turquoise sky bright with stars. Creatures bear little relationship in size, either within or between the double spreads; the moon's shadowed side shifts from right to left and back. The teal-and-sepia–dominated palette suits the subject. Contrasting large, opaque color fields with details of animal and plant life and playing visually with indoor/outdoor motifs like toy and real animals, the pictures try to do too much. A pretty, sturdy-enough bedtime story, but not more. (Picture book. 3-5) Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2012 January #2
While Lewis's previous books (Orange Peel's Pocket; Every Year on Your Birthday) have dealt with Asian adoption, this soothing bedtime rhyme is addressed to sleepyheads in general. A mother carries a small, sleepy girl upstairs to an airy bedroom as she weaves a series of "moonflower stories" about animals, "Like the one about the baby bear/ Simply much too tired to eat,/ Who made the moonflowers' petals/ A pillow for his feet." The text forms the scaffolding for Corace's (Gibbous Moony Wants to Bite You!) elegant spreads, in which distinctively stylized, sharp-cornered figures are muted by a twilight palette. Following the text closely, Corace creates spacious nighttime scenes reassuringly free of threat or fear. Massed flowers, foliage, and branches loom protectively over the animals, echoing the forms of the parent animals who guard their young under a smiling full moon. In a quiet but dramatic closing moment, the walls of the child's room open out onto the night sky and the moonflowers like an elaborate theater set, a tacit acknowledgment of the longing many children feel for a life that's a little closer to nature. Ages 3-7. (Mar.) [Page ]. Copyright 2011 PWxyz LLC
School Library Journal Reviews 2012 February
PreS-Gr 2--As a lullaby should, this book has soothing language and illustrations in comforting colors. It takes baby along to have a last look at the day that is quickly turning to night. Soon, sweet dreams will take her away. Meanwhile, the story describes what goes on in the natural world while the child is sleeping. The lullaby ambience stays the same as owls and crickets go about their business from sunset to sunrise. The watercolor and ink illustrations are done in soft blues at the beginning of the book but morph into brighter colors as the new day begins. The rhymes are sweet and satisfying when read aloud. The quiet tone is reminiscent of Mem Fox's Time for Bed (Harcourt, 1993) and should be found in a stack with Margaret Wise Brown's Goodnight Moon (Harper, 1947) and Susan Marie Swanson's The House in the Night (Houghton Harcourt, 2008). All in all, this is a lovely book that any parent or grandparent would enjoy sharing.--Joan Kindig, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA [Page 92]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.