Too Busy Sleeping by Zanni Louise, illustrated by Anna Pignataro
Litte Hare RRP: AUD$24.95
Life is complicated enough as a toddler, let alone when a new baby arrives to turn your world upside down! Too Busy Sleeping shows us life through the eyes of Eleanor, who has just become a big sister and is trying to make sense of the curious new member of her family. Eleanor would like to play with baby Reuben, but most of the time he is too busy sleeping. What are you supposed to do with a brother who is too little to play?
Unlike many books about sibling rivalry that showcase animosity and resentment, Too Busy Sleeping is about sheer curiosity, as only a young child can express it. Eleanor moves patiently through her day, finding things to do with her Granny and Grandad, but she’s sure Reuben will soon be ready to join in her games.
Eleanor gave Reuben a kiss on his tiny forehead. He smelt like butter.
“Can the baby play with me in my sandpit?’ asked Eleanor after breakfast.
“The baby is too busy sleeping,” said Mummy.
When it finally reaches time for Eleanor’s bedtime story, and she wants her Mummy all to herself – Reuben is wide awake! But when the baby is happy, and quietly kicking on his rug, Eleanor finds there are some very special ways that big sisters can play with new little brothers.
Illustrated in muted colours and delicate pastels, this book is charming from start to finish. It took me straight back to my own children’s bewildered disappointment with the arrival of each sibling, having expected ready-made playmates rather than crying, sleeping bundles of blankets. It’s a momentous lesson for children when they first come to understand the beginning of life; how to care for a tiny, helpless someone and the fact that they, too, were once that small. Not to mention having to share their grown ups for the first time!
The language of this book is quite simple, with few words per page, make it excellent for early readers – especially those with new siblings! For younger ones, it would be a terrific sibling gift to accompany new baby presents and a welcome addition to any school or kindy library where growing and changing families are always a talking point.
Zanni Louise is well known to many as a blogger at My Little Sunshine House and it’s been wonderful to watch her book publishing dream become a reality. During September she’ll be touring Australia doing all sorts of signings and crafty book workshops for kids as she shares her book with young readers. Keep an eye out!
With thanks to Little Hare for my review copy.