'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Saturday 26 September 2009

Review: Poppy Tried to Sleep

Title: Poppy Tried to Sleep

Author: Mimi King

Illustrator: Kieron Pratt

Publisher: Vivid Publishing

Format: Softcover

Language: English

ISBN: 9 780980 638158

For ages: 2-6 year olds

Type: Picture book

About: Poppy needs sleep. A hard working farmer, this adorable granddad values nothing more than a relaxing bath, a lovely hot cup of tea and… a good night’s sleep.

But alas, the challenges of farm life, particularly when it comes to pesky critters, puts paid to any chance of rest, and poor Poppy finds himself so exhausted from a sleepless night, how can he possibly complete his work the next day?

Penned by Australian grandmother of eight, Mimi King, Poppy Tried to Sleep is the type of book kids will be scrabbling to re-read. Peppered with adorable characters and delicious subtleties (like the earth mover insignias on the bathroom tiles and bedspread) by talented illustrator Kieron Pratt, kids will be keen to spot Tootz the cat, a lime green frog and cackling kookaburras, among other endearing creatures.

King’s first book, the author writes with a simplistic rhythm that will charm children. An experienced teacher and lover of children’s books, the author has devised a clear plot that pulls the wide-eyed reader through a serious of ‘challenges’ to deliver a warm and humorous outcome kids will love.

Pratt’s big and bright illustrations are full of personality and emotion – and his brilliant take on the idiosyncrasies of real life will have adults rapt and perhaps even eliciting the odd chuckle or twenty.

Something I enormously enjoy about this book is that it manages to impart a deeply embedded Australiana theme – without resorting to stereotypes or ockerisms that pepper so many modern books with an Australian theme. King does this by her choice of characters, but also with the language she uses – opting for subtle references that make this first book in the Poppy series a worthy addition to the bookshelves of any proud Australian book lover.

See more on King’s upcoming Poppy books at poppybooks.com.au, where you can purchase a copy. Otherwise, ask for a copy at your nearest bookstore (Australia-wide).