Friday 15 March 2019

Sleep Tight, Platypup

Sleep Tight, Platypup written & illustrated by Renee Treml (Puffin Books) HB RRP $19.99 ISBN 9780143789796

Reviewed by Dianne Bates

Baby platypus wakes at night and cries for his mother. He’s scared of the darkness. Happily, Mummy appears and hugs him, telling him it’s just the night. She takes him outdoors and asks him what he sees. Of course, there is the moon and stars, trees and the family burrow, all familiar to both mother and son.

When the trees rattle and boom and the grass crinkles and crackles, Platypup is again scared. Once more his mother draws his attention to the noises that he can hear that are familiar – grasses shifting in the wind, leaves whispering… ‘just like the do during the day’, and of course that’s not scary.

This is a very simple picture book which could surely calm a child aged 3 to 5 years who has night fears. The illustrations of mother and son are executed in black and white like lino prints with muted backgrounds of purples and blues. There’s not a lot of visual interest and the platypus don’t always look faithfully rendered with the bills sometimes looking like duck bills. The depiction of platypus standing upright are invalid, too. It’s a shame that the illustrations aren’t as interesting as the written text.

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