I Can't Sleep! by Stephanie Blake

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I Can't Sleep! by Stephanie Blake

Buy I Can't Sleep! by Stephanie Blake at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Ruth Ng
Reviewed by Ruth Ng
Summary: Lots of fun, rather heartwarming, and plenty of scope for some dramatic reading out loud!
Buy? yes Borrow? yes
Pages: 32 Date: August 2017
Publisher: Gecko Press
ISBN: 9781776571635

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Simon the little rabbit is back! He's not so little now, and his baby brother (from Stupid Baby) has grown up into a toddler. This time we see Simon and Caspar playing happily together but then, in the night, poor Caspar realises that he's forgotten his blanket outside! What will the two brothers do? Caspar says he can't sleep without his blanket...will Simon be able to help him?

We do enjoy a good Simon story in our house, and this one was a lot of fun to read. I like that Simon has matured a little bit from his days of 'poo bum'! And I really like the portrayal of his relationship with his baby brother. We all knew they'd probably be okay from the ending of Stupid Baby but it's good to actually see this happen on the page. They build themselves a play house at the start of this story, one that is mega-ginormous (because ginormous is just never enough…) and when it's finished they're both very excited about playing in it the next day. Unfortunately, Caspar has left his blanket back at the playhouse! It's a catastrophe! Still, never fear, because Simon is the very best big brother, and he pops on his cape and heads out into the dark, dark night to rescue the blankie for Caspar.

Simon is, of course, very, very brave. Even when he sees a monster in the trees he just runs home very fast! I really love that we see Simon taking on this responsibility for his baby brother, and I also really love how very proud Caspar is of his big brother for being so brave for him! The loss of a beloved item is always difficult, so it's easy to identify with both Simon and Caspar, whether you're a child or a parent!

My one tiny bug-bear was Caspar's baby talk in the story. He does it because of course, he is still very little, but it rather frustrated me as I find listeners often, then, want to imitate the baby talk too! I didn't let it stop me, obviously, and I merrily shouted Hangit ober dere! in my best Caspar the rabbit voice but still, it grated a little! Otherwise the writing is wonderful. I love the repetitions, and the descriptions through the story. On the page where Simon is stepping out into the night very bravely the description of Simon's experience of the cold night is wonderful - very simple, but just exactly how a slightly scary night can feel! Once again, the bold, bright drawings work so well with the text too. There's lots of black with the nighttime, but also the bright pop of Simon's red sleepsuit, and his beautiful blue cape. I also really noticed the layout of the fonts in this book, with the page formatting sometimes shaping the words into a tree, or just directing you in how to read them aloud by the line breaks used. My favourite picture of the book is of Simon and Caspar back in bed together, snuggled with the blankie, and with each other.

I very much enjoyed doing all the exaggerated expressions, and loud shouting relating to the lost blankie as I read this book aloud. These are great stories for playgroup and nursery storytimes as they're very easy to follow, and always fun for little ones to listen to. I'm glad we've seen Simon mature a little, and I'm already wondering what he'll get up to next with his brother. Further reading suggestion: For more stories about lost items, you might enjoy I Love You, Muddy Bear by Jane Simmons, Where Are You, Blue Kangaroo? by Emma Chichester-Clark and Red Ted and the Lost Things by Michael Rosen and Joel Stewart.

Buy I Can't Sleep! by Stephanie Blake at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy I Can't Sleep! by Stephanie Blake at Amazon.co.uk

Buy I Can't Sleep! by Stephanie Blake at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy I Can't Sleep! by Stephanie Blake at Amazon.com.


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