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  • Where the Board Books Are

Go to Sleep, Little Farm

Go to Sleep, Little Farm By Mary Lyn Ray

Go to Sleep, Little Farm is a refreshing find. Both creative in its rhythmic text and beautifully illustrated in soft, dim shades of blue, gray, pink, and rusty red, Go to Sleep, Little Farm draws upon the universality of bedtime. The picture book begins with an illustration of a little girl, gazing out the window at a dusk strewn hill; not quite ready for bed. If you look closely at the illustration a bee can be seen flying off into the distance. This bee, buzzing off in a hurry speaks to the necessity of bedtime as the text opens with "Somewhere a bee makes a bed in a rose, because the bee knows day has come to a close."

From a beaver, to a bear, to cows and horses, gray mice, and fish in a brook, the reader is taken on a tour of the farm (and it's surrounding inhabitants) as they all hunker down for a good night's rest. "Now that the day and the sun have gone, quiet spreads and evening comes on -- speckled with stars like the spots on a fawn." In addition to emphasizing that it's time for farm animals and creatures to rest, the story highlights how everyday objects, like a book, a clock, and play clothes are not needed and therefore they too must be resting.

Another refreshing element of Go to Sleep, Little Farm is the reference to and presence of parents. Many bedtime books seem to eliminate the presence of parents which if unfortunate. Bedtime can be (not always) but can be a very special time for children and parents and should continue to be celebrated in children's literature.

Illustrations by Christopher Silas Neal

As the book concludes, the little girl is seen snuggled up in her bed followed by illustrations of her dreaming of the farm animals and perhaps tucking some in.

Illustrations by Christopher Silas Neal

I think this is a very well done book and would be soothing to a child (even if some of the rhymes aren't quite as rhythmic as others). My one hesitation with it is that it's a bit too long for a child under 2 years of age. However, many board books are too short for a child who's 2 or 3 and interested in a more stimulating text so, I think this book is perfect for a 2-3 year old or even older children. You can never be too old for a good bedtime story.

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