Sleep Tight, My Honey (illustrated by Wayne Harris)
Lothian, Hachette, 2008
Lily and Monty’s new baby is a gorgeous bunny, but she just won’t sleep at night. Grandma, Tortoise, Possum, Butterfly and Bat are full of helpful advice, but nothing works, until Lily finds the perfect solution!
I believe some people have children that sleep through the night from the moment they are born. I was never one of those people. I was one of those other ones; the crazy parent enacting every piece of advice the second after she had received it.
Night lights, nappy changes, baby slings, sleeping together, book readings, warm baths and bottles of catnip tea—gotcha! Singing, burping, rocking, swinging, swaying, hushing, cooing, praying—onto it! I don’t know what my neighbours made of those long impassioned prayers but perhaps that explains why they sold up and moved to Queensland.
Back in those dizzy, sleep-deprived days and nights, I would have done anything—ANYTHING—to get some sleep. If someone had suggested that building a yurt in my backyard and wrapping my baby in yak-skin would guarantee me three measly hours, I would have snapped it together before you could even say Mitre Ten. But if someone had been silly enough to suggest to me that someday this pain would be useful to me, I would have bopped them on the nose. But then, you know, the tiredness faded, the memories became tinted and gilt-edged and before long I started to laugh. And next thing, I began to wonder how children made sense of all the crazy fuss their parents get up to when a new baby comes home and almost before I knew it, I had a given birth to a new book. I am delighted to report that, unlike my boys, this book baby required very little bouncing to sleep on my mini-trampoline.
“Shanahan has written a story with a memorable refrain: ‘Sleep tight, my honey, You gorgeous bunny’. Children will enjoy repeating this as well as making the crying Waaa waaa noises that baby Alice makes. Along the way they will incidentally learn about the nocturnal habits of many animals.The illustrations by Wayne Harris are a delight, with beautiful lavender, blue, yellow and pale orange colours. Alice has an engaging grin on her little face during the day and a wide-open mouth to show her displeasure about being left alone at night. The Rabbit family is portrayed as a warm and caring extended family, where love is very evident. This is a book that pre-schoolers will enjoy, and that adults will love to read aloud.” Pat Pledger
ECA (Early Childhood Australia) Best Picture Book of 2008