In the Forest of the Night:... Sleep Like A Tiger by Mary Logue
ONCE THERE WAS A LITTLE GIRL WHO DIDN'T WANT TO GO TO SLEEP.
SHE TOLD HER MOTHER, "I'M NOT TIRED."
SHE TOLD HER FATHER, "I'M JUST NOT SLEEPY."
Uneasy lies the head that wears this crown. Our princess is simply too busy to go to bed. She rides her scooter; she plays with her stuffed tiger and his friends and protests that she's not going to sleep.
The royal parents nod their crowned heads as they offer her favorite doll and The Little Prince for a bedtime read, but the princess protests that she is wide awake.
Wisely, the king and queen opt for gradualism.
HER PARENTS SAID THAT WAS FINE.
BUT SHE HAD TO PUT HER PAJAMAS ON.
SHE SHOULD WASH HER FACE AND BRUSH HER TEETH.
IT FELT GOOD.
"DOES EVERYONE IN THE WORLD GO TO SLEEP?" SHE ASKED.
The royal couple nod and describe how their dog and cat are snoozing already. The Princess doesn't give up that easily. She cites bats, who fly at night. The King and Queen agree, but point out that bats fold their wings and snooze all day. The Princess persists, asking about whales and snails, bears and--the tiger:
"HE FINDS SOME SHADE AND SLEEPS.
THAT WAY HE STAYS STRONG"
Reassuring the Princess that she can stay awake if she chooses, her parents leave her alone with her thoughts of slumbering creatures. Her crisp sheets are like a nest, cozy as her dog's couch, warm as the cat snoozing before the fire. Soon she is drifting into sleepiness like the whale, hanging it up like the bats, slipping into sleepiness like the hibernating bear, and so, lying down with the warm sleeping tiger...
... FELL FAST ASLEEP.
Mary Logue's lyrical narrative soothes, but Pamela Zagarenski's illustrations take this little royal bedtime tale into the lands of dreams with startlingly beautiful surreal illustrations that the poet William Blake might have envied. Zagarenski's princess is both real child and stubbornly iconic bedtime resister, and her tiger morphs from plush toy to sleeping majesty in a way that seems only natural in the sweep of this gorgeous picture book. Zagarenski's endpapers tell it all, with the opening spread offering a gigantic yellow sun illuminating a white tiger on top of the boxcar of a disjointed train on its way to the closing endpapers which show a tower window with the Princess asleep with her toy tiger, with the white tiger still riding that night train under a silver moon inscribed "Tiger, tiger, burning bright, in the forest of the night."
Pamela Zagarenski received a 2013 Caldecott Honor Award for her collaboration with Mary Logue on Sleep Like a Tiger (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013). As the Washington Post's reviewer writes, "Set against Caldecott Honor medalist Pamela Zagarenski's gloriously soft-toned dreamscapes of moons and stars and toys and towns, the lyrical text magnifies the magical mood."