Written and Illustrated by: Il Sung Na
Explore and Discover
Join the owl as s/he watches all of the other animals sleep peacefully through the night. Talk to your child about the cover and illustrations, and bring his/her attention to different elements. Use prompts and questions like these to preface the book:
Look, here is an owl! What sound do owls make?
This book is called "The Book of Sleep." I wonder what we will see! Maybe we will see...
Can you find the owl's eye? What about its beak? The beak is the owl's mouth.
Owls sleep during the daytime but when do people and other animals sleep? They sleep during the nighttime.
As You Read
Help build your child's vocabulary by giving each element in the illustrations a name. Be sure to repeat yourself and describe the elements using their color, location, etc. For example, say "Look, all of the animals are wide awake! There are the birds sitting on top of the giraffe. Can you see the birds and the giraffe? Where is the whale? The whale is under the penguins! Can you point to the whale?"
Connect the story to your child's life as well as the real world around him/her by saying things like, "Where do whales sleep? They sleep in the ocean! Where do we sleep? We sleep in beds in our homes. What noise do you think an elephant makes when it is sleeping? I think it sounds like...What sound do humans make when they sleep?" You can also use facial expressions to help entertain and engage your child. When the owl observes the pigeons sleeping with one eye open, close one eye and say, "Look, I'm a sleeping pigeon. Can you be a sleeping pigeon?" Even if your child is very young and unable to perform that action, this will help him/her see the connection between you and the story you are reading.
Asking questions is a helpful way to encourage your child to think about what s/he has just experienced, so ask about the story. For little ones, you can ask questions and then provide the answers yourself. Questions and prompts might include:
Let's go back and find the elephant!
What does the owl do while all of the other animals are asleep?
When does s/he sleep?
Let's read the story again!
Extending the Story
Put Your Child's Stuffed Animals To Bed
Gather all of your little one's stuffed animals and have a slumber party! Each animal has its own way of sleeping, and even if you don't have all of the animals from the story, you can still have fun with the ones you do have! This can be a great nap time or bedtime activity to put all of the stuffed animals to bed before setting your little one down for some shut eye. Say, "Here is the bear. The bear likes to sleep like this. When s/he sleeps, it sounds like _________." Work your way through the animals until they are all asleep and then say, "Shhhhhh, all of the animals are asleep. Now it's your turn."
A Look at Literacy Development
Here is a great look at some ways to help with your child's literacy development. You may not realize it, but your child is learning from almost everything you do, even simple things like the way that you hold a book and turn its pages. Learn more here!