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‘Sleep Like a Tiger,’ by Mary Logue and Pamela Zagarenski

By — Kristi Elle Jemtegaard and Kristi Elle Jemtegaard,

On the cover of this lushly detailed picture book, a magnificent tiger — a crown atop his snoozing head, his paw atop a tiny doll — encircles the sleeping figure of a child. She’s wearing a crown, too, and has her arm around a tiny stuffed tiger. It’s the elegant symmetry that extinguishes the fear factor. 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. “Once there was a little girl who didn’t want to go to sleep even though the sun had gone away,” Mary Logue writes. The girl’s parents, a wise king and queen, insist on pajamas, face-washing and tooth-brushing. Delaying tactics ensue. “Does everything in the world go to sleep?” the little girl asks. From cats and bats to whales and snails and eventually to tigers, her parents patiently answer each question. Unconvinced, our heroine insists, “I’m still not sleepy.” Well-versed in the ways of childhood, her parents reply, “We know. . . . You can stay awake all night long.” The result is as gentle as it is inevitable — and every bit as satisfying.

— Kristi Elle Jemtegaard

SLEEP LIKE A TIGER By Mary Logue Illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski Houghton Mifflin. $16.99. Ages 4-8

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