Friday, 10 May 2013

Where Do You Sleep?

Where Do You Sleep? by Bettina Strong, illustrated by Laurie Burrows (Be Book Wise)
PB RRP $14.95
ISBN 9780 9781 62403
Reviewed by Jo Antareau

Little mouse is uncomfortable in her own bed – a child’s bed – and so begins a journey to find a better place to sleep. She encounters a number of different animals and asks them to show her their bedrooms.  From a bat who sleeps upside down in a cave to a polar bear’s icy hole, the mouse is willing to try a variety of different animal beds. The puppy’s basket is quite cute and the rabbit’s communal burrow is very cosy, but none of these quite suit the mouse.

Written in a rhyming prose with repetitive dialogue, this picture book is suitable for children aged three years and over. Illustrated with coloured sketches by Laurie Burrows, the creatures have been given soft, cartoonish features, so even the crocodile does not look threatening.

However, I am puzzled by the mouse's repeated response of 'No, no, no, I do not agree'. The theme of this book is tolerance and she merely asked them for information and no creature forced her to adopt their particular style of sleeping.

In the end, the mouse fashions a nest of her own, inspired by the bird’s home. This is a sweet little book that illustrates differences between the niches of various animal species, and is sure to inspire discussion about habitats.

Although the book has not included a bibliography for further reading, teaching notes and other resources are available from the publisher.

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