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

Tuesday 26 October 2021

Review: The Worst Sleepover in the World

Sleepovers are one of the most exciting events in a child’s life. Who doesn’t love a sleepover with friends?

But sometimes sleepovers don’t work out exactly like we thought they would.

In The Worst Sleepover in the World, Ramona’s friend Gracie is sleeping over.

Ramona is excited, and she’s planned everything, from where they will sleep to the midnight snacks they will enjoy.

But when Gracie arrives, Ramona’s plans get turned on their head. Gracie doesn’t like the food. She doesn’t like the sleeping arrangements. And close to midnight she starts missing her mum and things fall apart. It seems the friendship might be over, and Ramona hates that her mum seems to be on Gracie’s side.

The Worst Sleepover in the World is a fabulous read. It's a different kind of picture book, almost like a junior fiction/picture book mash up. The word count is much higher than is typical for a picture book, but I adore it this way.

We are welcomed into Ramona’s world, and get more details of her life, her thoughts and her reactions to what happens during the evening. Due to the longer word count, I think junior readers will love this book (my eight year old did!). They can read it independently AND they get to enjoy the stunning colour illustrations that fill the pages. It’s quite unique, and I love that.

I also love that this book explores the good and bad of the much-anticipated sleepover, and it highlights the differences between families and households. It isn’t until you stay at someone else’s house that you REALLY find out how different other families can be. Routines are different, food is different — all good things. Just different.

Luciano Lozano’s illustrations are simply stunning. With a lovely pastel purple featuring throughout, and so many splashes of real world details, I really enjoyed exploring each page. Somehow, even with the higher word count, Lozano has packed the pages with art, and the expressions on Mum’s face are just hilarious as the sleepover progresses.

Heaps of fun and a wonderful (and rather accurate) depiction of that delightful (and terrifying) thing called a sleepover.

Title: The Worst Sleepover in the World
Author: Sophie Dahl
Illustrator: Luciano Lozano
Publisher: Walker Books, $27.99
Publication Date: 6 October 2021
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 9781406384413
For ages: 3 - 8
Type: Picture Book