often have questions—sometimes unanswerable questions—and
bedtime seems to be the time they are most curious. Perhaps
these inquiries are more about delaying sleep that real interest.
Sometimes the topic of bedtime is the instigator. Take that
“counting sheep” thing! Who among us didn’t
wonder at its silliness. Why count? Why sheep?
Leslie C. Halpern’s adorable little chapbook-sized poetry
book solves lots of these sleepytime problems and answers
lots of sleepytime questions:
“Dad suggested counting sheep
on those nights when I can’t sleep.
I’d rather watch chickens dance
Than fleecy sheep jump a fence.
I’d rather count smelly hogs
Or two hundred green tree frogs.
I’d rather see bald eagles,
Baby ducks, or some beagles.
I’d rather imagine bats,
Cows, goats, dogs, hawks, or cats.
I think that sheep are boring.
Oh, that’s why they cause snoring.
The humor and lovely rhythm will enthrall any child, even
older ones. Halpern doesn’t stretch to find her rhymes.
They feel integral to each topic and, though a child won’t
critique this way, they may certainly feel it.
Parents will love her little vocabulary-stretching aid in
the backmatter of this booklet, but the addition of a little
science will please them, too. Some of what we all knew is
confirmed like, “Scientists who study sleeping and dreaming
have proven that animals dream, too.” That kind of information
leads to more knowledge, greater understanding. You mean there
are scientists who study sleep? No fake facts allowed?
This is a book of poems I will be glad to give to my grandsons—and
know that their parents will like it as well as I did!