First-time author, Lisa Schroeder takes on the challenges of the bedtime ritual. After kissing baby’s head, “Mommy says ‘Good Night!’ and goes to bed.” Now a tired Daddy takes over and suggests counting sheep. These magical sheep have the opposite effect intended as baby perks up watching sheep chasing fireflies, riding in a jeep, and “playing in the pool-wearing suits that look real cool.” Dad is getting tired but baby won’t snooze so mom takes over and promptly falls asleep.How many times have you found yourself dozing off as you finish that last book for your child at bedtime? Even the family dog gets in the act, bringing a toy sheep to comfort the baby at the end of her day.
Often I am asked to suggest books that Mom or Dad can read to their baby and older sibling together. This is one of those books because children of different ages are entertained on different levels. Babies are attracted to the lively rhythm and rhyme as well as the bright, exciting illustrations in this book. Toddlers relate to the story of Mom and Dad’s efforts to get them to bed, and are entertained by the goofy sheep dancing, floating and swinging. Plus, this is a counting book. Two to four-year olds will enjoy this book for the fun of counting, the familiar story line, and clever antics of the sheep. With a three or four-year-old, try to add on to the story with more adventures with the sheep. Provide a first line and let your child finish it like, “eleven sheep on a hike, wishing they could ride a ____.” Progress to giving them just the first phrase and see if they can complete the rhyme. Or have fun simply saying rhyming words like “sheep, beep.” Because the understanding of rhyme is a precursor to reading, it is important to look for books like Baby Can’t Sleep that tell their story cleverly in rhyme. Having fun with rhyme teaches children that sounds and language are exciting. It encourages them to be creative story tellers.