Thursday, January 27, 2011

Sleep, Black Bear, Sleep

Jane Yolen and Heidi E. Y. Stemple have created a lovely rhyming lullaby in their 2007 picture book Sleep, Black Bear, Sleep. The book begins:

"Sleep, little one, sleep.
Your dreams are long and deep.
Sleep in your burrow, cave, or den,
Sleep till the winter's done and then
Rise up and start all over again.
Sleep, little one, sleep.

Each subsequent two-page spread features a stanza for one of 12 hibernating animals -- black bear, frog, bat, snakes, box turtle, gopher, skunk, badger, beaver, mouse, toad and chipmunk. Brooke Dyer's accompanying illustrations detail each animal and their home.

At the end a child tucked in with stuffed animals hears:

"And even YOU, it's time for sleep,
So snuggle down and burrow deep.
The sheet and quilt will keep you warm
Through winter or through summer storm
Till you awaken in the morn.
Sleep, my little child, sleep

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