Sam Can’t Sleep by Davide Cali, illustrated by Anna Aparicio Català. NubeOcho, 2021. 9788418133060
Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4
Genre: Animals/bedtime story
What did you like about the book? It’s nighttime and the jungle is quiet. But Sam’s eyes are wide open because he can’t sleep. He finds a succession of sleeping animals to ask for advice – elephant, snake, monkey, tiger, gazelle and crocodile. Some are annoyed, and at least one wants to eat him. It is crocodile who informs Sam that he can’t sleep because he’s a bat, and bats sleep during the day. When he finally falls asleep as the sun rises, the jungle is waking up and there is hissing, roaring and more. ‘”Heeeeeey!” Sam shouts. “Can’t you please keep it down? Someone is trying to sleep here.”‘
A gorgeous tropical palette of deep turquoise, red, yellow and black evokes nighttime in the jungle. Shapes and patterns of plants and animals swirl around the little white big-eared bat, in full-bleed silk screen-like art. The dialogue reminds me of a folktale, with the wise animals giving the young one counsel. Several wordless pages invite young readers to examine the expressions on the animals’ faces and to infer their meanings. A nice offering for bedtime.
Anything you didn’t like about it? No
To whom would you recommend this book? A good title to offer to families of toddlers who like animals, especially bats.
Who should buy this book? Day care centers and public libraries
Where would you shelve it ? Picture books
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Stephanie Tournas, Robbins Library, Arlington, MA
Date of review: June 20, 2021