Bedtime and naptime have recently been tending toward the psychotic around here, which may help to explain my newfound deep affection for Mo Willem’s Time to Sleep, Sheep the Sheep. This book is basically my bedtime fantasy. “Time to sleep, Sheep the Sheep,” says Cat the Cat (the star of the series). “Okay,” responds Sheep the Sheep.
Okay? Okay! Let me just say that this is not the response I generally get when I say things like “Time to sleep.” Oh, how I wish my young were as amenable as the animals in this book. “I’m on it!” Horse the Horse cheerfully replies from his perch on the potty. I’ve been accidentally providing Harper with all manner of bad influences in the shape of overly spunky heroines (that damn Olivia who never wants to nap, for example, or Madeline who’s always getting into trouble), so it’s a relief to present her with some nice, sensible friends who don’t resist sleep.
Harper picked this book out, along with a couple others from Willem’s Cat the Cat series, at our local bookmobile last week. In the time-honored tradition of toddlers everywhere, she’s very into picking her own everything. And she is very very into these books that she picked. I can see why. After I read her the super-simple, repetitive, kinda funny text once or twice, she had each book memorized, so now she can read them herself. If there’s one thing she loves more than picking something, it’s doing something herself.
In short, the Cat the Cat books are great for babies (Alton can attest to this, having heard them hundreds of times already while he nurses and starts to fall asleep and then is awakened by his sister poking his cheek and saying HE’S ASLEEP?” over and over), what with their bright, simple pictures and sing-songy rhythm, and also great for older kids starting to learn to read. In other words, they are just the thing for our dual bedtime situation. Man, this two kids thing is SO EASY!