Good Morning, Grumple
A fresh, funny picture book that will inspire happy mornings from grumpy children
Not every child greets the new day with enthusiasm. Those who don’t are called Grumples, and they must be dealt with carefully. Sing very softly, tickle one pinky toe, kiss the scrunched-up forehead. And then a big hug and a singing rhyme to see in the day. Even Grumples cannot resist.
There are many going-to-bed books, but Good Morning, Grumple is a unique look at the celebration of morning. Manon Gauthier’s endearing collage illustrations capture the love between a mother and child, even in cranky moments. Parents will find Victoria Allenby’s droll story in verse to be a perfect accompaniment to the beginning of the day, and a gentle way to turn their own Grumples into children again.
Publication Date: March 23, 2017
How To Buy ItYou can find Good Morning, Grumple on Amazon.ca or Amazon.com, but I recommend visiting your local independent book store. If they don't have it in stock, they'll be happy to order it for you.
ReviewsSchool Library Journal
“Toddler-PreS–What to do with tots who don’t like to wake up in the morning? Do you tiptoe carefully around them, or do you wake them up with a tickle and a song? Allenby and Gauthier address this very issue with a patient mother fox who knows just how to coax her own little ‘grumple’ out of bed. Readers are urged to sing the short, simple rhymes louder and louder on each page as Mama Fox attempts to rouse her snoozing little one: ‘If it only mumbles “NO,” Tickle just one pinky toe/And sing just a bit louder. Oh-Oh-Don’t you pout./The sun is sweeping the shadows out.’ The story ends successfully, with a spread showing the little fox and his mama walking outside amid other presumably grumple friends, such as a bear and his cub. Gauthier’s mixed-media and paper collage illustrations are quiet in tone, emphasizing that this is one fox who just wants to sleep. Tinges of taupe, cream, brown, and heather gray are shaded across the pages. The small size, soft padded cover, and sturdy card stock pages make this suitable for lap sharing. VERDICT Consider for medium to large picture book collections that serve a heavy toddler and preschool population.”
“Allenby and Gauthier’s picture book opens on a scene likely familiar in many households…The grumple, a cranky bearlike creature, doesn’t want to get out of bed to greet the day, so his mother tries some sweet tactics to nudge her little one out of bed. Allenby’s lilting lines encourage singing progressively louder, tickling toes, and kissing foreheads to get little grumples out of bed, but it’s the music that’s the most affirming and powerful method for urging kiddos out from under their covers and off to enjoy the great outdoors and play with friends. Gauthier’s naive-style collage illustrations, rendered in rough-cut shapes covered in thick paint and freewheeling scribbles, nicely complement Allenby’s bouncy rhymes, particularly when contrasting the mother’s singsongy cheerfulness with the grumple’s rumpled, bleary-eyed appearance….”
"What is a grownup to do when their little one just doesn’t want to get out of bed? Good Morning, Grumple has just the solution: a song, a kiss, a hug, and a twist! With just the right amount of gentle, loving encouragement, even the grumpiest little grumple can be danced happily out the door.
Victoria Allenby’s sweet, lyrical text is rhythmic and loving, and it includes plenty of opportunities for interaction between toddlers and their caregivers. Caregivers can sing, tickle, kiss, hug and dance with their little ones as they start their day.
Manon Gauthier’s collage mixed media illustrations are utterly charming, with a soothing, muted earth toned palette and an endearing, childlike simplicity.
Good Morning, Grumple is perfectly designed for the littlest of readers, with a soft, padded cover, rounded edges and thick, sturdy pages that will stand up to repeated readings with enthusiastic toddlers.
Sweet, simple and loving, Good Morning, Grumple would be a lovely addition to a toddler’s morning wake-up routine and is sure to help start the day off with a smile."
Midwest Book Review
“Not every child greets the new day with enthusiasm. Those who don’t are called Grumples, and they must be dealt with carefully. Sing very softly, tickle one pinky toe, kiss the scrunched-up forehead. And then a big hug and a singing rhyme to see in the day. Even Grumples cannot resist. Thoroughly ‘kid friendly’ in tone and presentation, Good Morning, Grumple combines author Victoria Alleby's imaginative flair for original storytelling with Manon Gautheir’s charming illustrations to provide children ages 1 to 3 with the perfect ‘go to bed’ parent/child bonding experience. Simply stated, Good Morning, Grumple is unreservedly and enthusiastically recommended for family, preschool, and community library collections.”
CanLit for LittleCanadians
"Every household must have one or two grumples, and Victoria Allenby has contrived a playful way of rousing them to waking….[L]ittle ones will delight in the role they get to play, even if it means ultimately getting out of bed. Victoria Allenby has proven that she can write light and refreshing books for pre-readers and early readers…but now she’s bringing that novelty to helping parents parent, all without preaching about how to do it right….
Manon Gauthier lends her trademark cut paper collage…to Good Morning, Grumple, establishing evocative scenes with her artistry. Colour is limited but effective, with the neutrality of a grumple atmosphere evident throughout. No grumple would ever see much in the way of colour before deigning to open his/her eyes completely, and Manon Gauthier supports this premise wholeheartedly. But Manon Gauthier refuses to keep things stark and uninspiring. All indoor and outdoor scenes, before and after waking, are freckled with birds, flowers, and household furnishings and decorations that invite readers in. Collage art has never been so expressive and atmospheric.
Enjoy the smaller and inviting format of Good Morning, Grumple with Pajama Press’ unique padded cover, rounded corners and heavy-duty paper that make it a pleasure to hold….”
Can Timo be a good friend when it also means overcoming his shyness?
Big parties make Timo’s fur stand on end. But hosting one might be the key to helping his friend Hedgewick’s culinary dreams come true; a famous food critic is coming to town, and an apple festival in Timo’s orchard would be just the thing to showcase Hedgewick’s cooking. So the introverted rabbit begins to prepare the party, one invitation, decoration and arrangement at a time. But when the big day arrives, will the support from his friends and his belief in Hedgewick’s cooking be enough to impress Madame LaPointe?
With innovative text inserts reflecting invitations and news articles, and Dean Griffiths' expressive full-colour illustrations, Timo’s Party offers a friendly world and relatable problems for young readers to navigate. In this sequel to Victoria Allenby's Timo’s Garden, an encouraging cast of friends helps Timo work past his anxieties to make Hedgewick’s cooking and the Apple Festival a scrumptious success! Also included is a recipe for a delicious apple cake that will inspire children to give hosting a try for themselves.
In Canada: October 1, 2016
In the United States: October 3, 2017
How To Buy It:
You can find Timo's Party on Amazon.ca or Amazon.com, but I recommend visiting your local independent book store. If they don't have it in stock, they'll be happy to order it for you.
“In this follow-up to 2015’s Timo’s Garden, Allenby again recounts a heartwarming story of friendship, this time with Timo the rabbit and his animal pals in Toadstool Corners coming to the rescue of aspiring chef Hedgewick who hopes to attract the attention of renowned restaurant critic Madame LaPointe. Despite his fear of large parties, Timo agrees to host a fall apple festival, inviting Madame LaPointe, so Hedgewick can showcase his skills through apple-inspired delicacies. Timo manages his anxieties by creating detailed lists and by enlisting the help of his many friends who gladly pitch in to make the party a success.
The story reads like an encyclopaedia of friendship with each good act from a friend provoking another. The warm, detailed illustrations evoke a comfortable small-town charm, sure to entice readers to visit Toadstool Corners again and again. The book also does a nice job of highlighting everyday texts within the narrative, including lists, invitations, and newspaper articles, which could prompt discussion about the importance of reading and writing in daily life. A simple apple recipe at the end of the book should inspire many readers to host apple festivals of their own.
Depicting acts of courage, selflessness, and kindness, Timo’s Party is wholly designed to support its readers’ character development. While certainly not flashy, this latest iteration of Timo and friends offers another gentle and useful tale about the power of friendship.
Thematic links: Kindness; Responsibility; Perseverance; Courage; Cooking; Friendship; Mindfulness; Social Anxiety”
“There is a lot to love about Timo’s Party. The premise and its attentive execution are particularly noteworthy. Timo is honestly anxious about hosting a party but decides to do it anyway. The story provides tools for dealing with intimidating situations (e.g., make a list of tasks) and gives tips on dealing with mild social anxiety as well as navigating social situations (e.g., ask people questions as they like to talk about themselves!). Not only does the book have some good advice, but it embeds that advice in a story that children will want to read….
The illustrations are charming and expressive. The inclusion of news articles and the party invitation are neat additions that not only add visual interest, but help to keep the reader’s attention on the story using environmental text. The presentation of gender was also refreshingly neutral for most of the book (although female characters did noticeably veer towards more traditionally feminine attire when attending the apple festival). The illustrations are placed strategically, complementing the story but not drawing attention away from it. As the reader becomes increasingly engaged with the narrative, the frequency of pictures goes down, subtly increasing the amount of text on each spread.
Timo’s Party is a thoughtful story with emotionally authentic characters….[T]his is a sweet chapter book with an empowering message. Highly Recommended.”
CanLit for LittleCanadians
“Bunny rabbit Timo Vega learned in last year’s Timo’s Garden (Pajama Press, 2015) that he needed to spend a little bit more time tending to his friendships rather than obsessing about his garden and he’s learned that lesson well. With food critic Madame LaPointe coming to Toadstool Corners as part of her search for the best small towns to visit, Timo agrees to host an apple festival in his orchard so that his friend Hedgewick Stump, the hedgehog, can show off his culinary skills. But as soon as he’s made the offer, the crowd-averse rabbit is regretting his decision.
Organizing his tasks into a list of three things - invitations, decorations and games - Timo begins to feel that the Toadstool Corners Apple Festival might be manageable after all. Though Hedgewick sees the attributes that will make Timo a great host - he is organized, generous and thoughtful - Timo’s other friends, knowing how much he hates big parties, advise him how to be confident and comfortable around lots of people.
With the help of his many friends, Timo is able to pull off a great party, and Hedgewick, with only a small cooking mishap, caters an impressive apple festival. Like the very different apples and bananas in the recipe at the conclusion of Timo’s Party, Timo and Hedgewick come together spectacularly. Each brings their own strengths to their endeavour and are successful in supporting the other when needed.
Timo’s Party is an exceptional early reader for imparting an engaging life lesson. But author Victoria Allenby never preaches or instructs the reader how to live life well, or be a good friend or be brave. Instead, she swathes that message in Timo’s daily experiences, taking advantage of a true story-telling opportunity. It’s easy to see beyond the anthropomorphized animals–with their clothes, speech, and human endeavours–as just a bunch of friends whose lives the reader is pleased to share. Though not a fully-illustrated book, Dean Griffiths’s artwork helps take the reader into the friendly world of Toadstool Corners. From the plaid jacketed Timo with his subtle smile and relaxed ears, to the rose-toqued badger Rae and the bustling Hedgewick, Dean Griffiths gives life to the animals in Timo’s Party, taking them from characters to neighbours. And, let me say, we are all pleased to have been invited to this party, and look forward to more good times in Timo’s neighbourhood.”
One little rhino in a mood. Two little rhinos acting rude.
Three little rhinos are having trouble getting along as Mama tries to coax them through the evening routine. Will they fidget, fuss, and fight right up until bedtime? Or will their Mama’s love help them find some common ground? In Rhino Rumpus, Victoria Allenby and Tara Anderson, the award-winning author-illustrator team behind Nat the Cat Can Sleep Like That, return with a lively story that will warm the heart of any frazzled parent. Children will find mischievous delight in the young rhinos’ misbehaviour, told in bouncing rhyme and energetic illustrations. And ultimately they, like the rhino siblings, may be inspired to acknowledge and reward their parents’ patient love.
Publication DateIn Canada: August 1, 2016 In the United States: November, 2016
How to Buy it:You can find Rhino Rumpus on Amazon.ca or Amazon.com, but I recommend visiting your local independent book store. If they don't have it in stock, they'll be happy to order it for you.
“This romp of a picture book for very young audiences begs to be read aloud. The plot is fairly simple: a trio of squabbling rhino siblings can’t quite manage to get ready for bed, despite poor, exhausted Mama’s best efforts. Familiar bedtime activities, including finishing dinner, taking a bath, and brushing teeth involve pushing, bumping, butting, biting—and Mama’s exasperated interventions. Goodnight stories and songs calm things down a bit, and the action ends with a big group hug for Mama and (almost) everybody falling sound asleep. The rhyming text incorporates numerous exclamations and sound effects. Adult readers should be prepared to harrumph, gripe, snipe, grumble, and roar. The pencil-and-crayon illustrations do an effective job of conveying the mayhem, and the facial expressions add to the general hilarity. While this would be a great choice for library storytime, it’s not really recommended for bedtime—most young readers will be way too riled up.”
“Three little rhinos just can’t seem to behave. Whether they’re at the dinner table or in the tub, the three little rhinos keep pushing, fighting, tussling, and butting heads until it turns into a full blown RHINO RIOT! Mama Rhino is getting tired. Will the three little rhinos ever get along? Thanks to its bubbly rhythm, Rhino Rumpus is a great candidate for story time with toddlers. The energetic language and rhymes are made to be read aloud and the illustrations are equally as exciting and expressive. Preschoolers with siblings (or parents with rambunctious little rhinos of their own) will relate to this story and have a lot of fun reading together.”
"Bedtime preparations aren’t going too smoothly in the Rhino household. The three Rhino babies fight over toys, make faces at each other and start a riot in the bathtub. Their escapades are recounted in spare, rhyming text. Mama Rhino intervenes with soothing calmness and, after helping them brush their teeth, sends them to sleep with a kiss and a song: “Ohhh, from your hooves to the tip of your horn, Oooh, I’ve loved you since the day you were born.” Mama’s love is reciprocated with a big family hug and a quiet moment to herself.
Tara Anderson’s folksy pencil crayon and acrylic illustrations show the squabbling siblings in all of their mischievous glory. They butt heads, overturn chairs, and snap towels at each other. Mama Rhino, bedecked in a pearl necklace and hoop earrings, keeps her composure throughout the turmoil.
Victoria Allenby’s zippy verse is full of repetition, and fun sound words like “Fidget fuss frump”, “Huff harrumph” and “Grump grumble Bump-a-rump”. Rhino Rumpus is a rollicking read-aloud and a great choice for toddler storytimes."
CanLit for LittleCanadians
"Victoria Allenby and Tara Anderson, the author-illustrator duo who brought us Nat the Cat Can Sleep Like That (Pajama Press, 2013), have returned with another picture book for our littlest ones, this time focusing on the sibling antics of three rhinos as their mother attempts to bring them to some degree of harmony.
From page one, the three little rhinos are forever being unruly: rude, in a mood, tussling. And Mama rhino has to interject and bring them in line. Dinner time is not much different, and Mama sends them to get ready for bed. Even bathtime (whose illustration is the “magic page” i.e., the cover art) involves a lot of pushing and boisterous escapades that Mama rhino rumbles to a stop with an emphatic “Quiet!” Teeth brushing, a story and song, and a plea to “And when you wake, please get along!” signals the ultimate family hug and the blissful stillness that is sleep.
The text is perfect for toddlers who will delight in its simplicity and sounds, while those children who are just learning to read will be pleased to test themselves on the easy-to-read rhyming lines and repetition of numbers (e.g., One little rhino…, Two little rhinos…, Three little rhinos…). I suspect that Victoria Allenby who dedicates the book to her nieces “who ALWAYS get along” has witnessed similar naughtiness but, by experiencing it with love and affection, she has given it a boisterous comic feel to it, something that will lighten the mood for any parent (or aunt!) who has to brave it and strive for calm. Similarly, Tara Anderson, who dedicates the book to her own little one, animates the text with her coloured pencil illustrations that convey exuberance, joy, mischief and affection with each stroke. Never is there anger or hostility between the siblings or directed at the little rhinos, and the message of patience in parenting is conveyed with fun and warmth and caring.
Rhino Rumpus will undoubtedly become the go-to book for families with young ones who get into squabbles, both for parents who need to recognize that children learn through play, even boisterous play, and for children who need to see that parental love is a gift that should not be overlooked, even if it does need a rest occasionally."
At first, the Great, Green Garden Tour sounds like a lot of fun. Before long, though, young rabbit Timo starts to find that it’s a lot of pressure. Can he really call his garden “great?” Maybe it needs one little change…or a few… or a lot.
Anxious to make his garden measure up, Timo forgets to take time out for anyone else. Luckily, his friends know just how to remind him of the value of being there for others: by being there for him when he needs it most.
In musical prose filled with word play and whimsy, Victoria Allenby invites young readers to come along as Timo sets to work with a skip and a song, meets trouble with a sniff and a sigh, and triumphs with a smile that’s as bright as the sun. Dean Griffiths’ charming illustrations are both classic and fresh, infusing each animal character with personality and life. Complete with an illustrated glossary of flowers, Timo's Garden might just be worthy of the word “great.”
In Canada: October 1, 2015
In the United States: February 1, 2016
How to Buy it:
You can find Timo's Garden on Amazon.ca or Amazon.com, but I recommend visiting your local independent book store. If they don't have it in stock, they'll be happy to order it for you.
Awards and Honours:2016 New York Public Library Best Books for Kids & Teens selection
2016 Canadian Children's Book Centre Best Books for Kids & Teens selection
“Allenby (Nat the Cat Can Sleep Like That) and Griffiths (Bad Pirate) explore the perils of perfectionism, following a rabbit named Timo through a week’s worth of gardening, as he tries to make it perfect for an upcoming garden tour. Allenby laces her story with alliteration and wordplay (“Gently, he planted some ginger. Gingerly, he planted some gentians”), and Griffiths’s color illustrations further add to the cozy atmosphere—there’s a whiff of The Wind in the Willows in the dapper outfits he gives the animal characters. It’s impossible to miss the message (“I could have tended my friends instead of my garden,” Timo realizes, after a rainstorm ruins a week’s worth of work), but the easy camaraderie and old-fashioned gentility among these friends exert plenty of charm.”
“Timo the rabbit is eager to make his garden ‘great.’ Timo loves his garden, with its many flowers (an illustrated index names all those mentioned in the text) and ‘herbs for cooking, a lawn for visiting, and a bench for sitting and daydreaming.’ Suddenly, though, it doesn’t seem special enough when he decides to participate in the upcoming garden tour. From one short chapter to the next, instead of spending time with friends, he frets and gardens, gardens and frets. Ultimately, Timo not only misses out on fun with friends, he’s also thwarted by poor weather when a rainstorm leaves the garden ‘a mess.’ His friends rally to him help clean things up, but…the garden tour is cancelled due to yet more (offstage) rain, and so Timo and his friends instead have a picnic and make plans for more gardening. A closing image of garden-tour judges at Timo’s gate suggests that all’s well in the end. Throughout, Griffiths’ richly colored illustrations depict anthropomorphic animals in a pastoral setting and include Timo’s lists of tasks on pages made to look like notebook paper. While the text isn’t controlled enough for brand new readers to decode, the brief chapters make the story accessible on a structural level. A fine title for growing readers. (Early reader. 7-9)”
School Library Journal
Gr 1-4–When the Great, Green Garden Tour is announced in Timo’s village, his friends suggest that he enter his own garden. The young rabbit begins making preparations by weeding and tidying but is concerned that he won’t be finished in a week. Firm on his commitment to the garden tour, Timo skips a trip to the lake, a tennis match, and other excursions with his friends. As the big day grows closer, Timo’s anxiety builds and he no longer enjoys the company of his irises and gentians. Unpredictable forces arise, and the green-thumbed rabbit’s friends come to his rescue. This lovely early chapter book presents the theme of friendship while also tackling life’s challenges in a comfortable manner. Griffiths’s detailed, full-color renditions of the animal characters bring life to the residents of Toadstool Corners. The finely illustrated “Glossary of Flowers” on the final pages is an ideal introduction for budding horticulturists. VERDICT A charming addition to early chapter book collections.
—Claire Moore, Darien Library, CT
Allenby’s sophomore offering (first was Nat the Cat Can Sleep like That, 2014) shows how to tend to a garden as well as tend to friendships. Timo is an anthropomorphic cottontail rabbit who has signed up to be part of a garden tour, and he tires himself out trying to make his yard look perfect. Allenby’s storytelling is lively, with a nice sprinkling of rhymes, alliteration, and other wordplay, as when Timo, with three days before the garden tour, tries to be careful and not rush his flower planting: “Gently, he planted some ginger. Gingerly, he planted some gentians.” Griffiths animates Timo and his animal friends with gentle good spirits, even when Timo is frustrated by rain. Timo neglects his friends to focus on the garden, but they cheerfully rally to help him after the rainstorms have ended. At the back of the book, Griffiths provides some small but lovely illustrations of the 14 flowers mentioned in the story. Sweet, informative, and visually appealing.”— Abby Nolan
“In this beautifully illustrated beginning chapter book, Victoria Allenby has introduced a lovely menagerie of animal friends, a timeless theme of the trials of friendships, and a whimsical and heartfelt text.
When Timo hears about the upcoming Toadstool Corners’ Great, Green Garden Tour, he is both excited to enter the fun contest, and concerned about the timeline. He has but one week to turn his garden from merely nice to great. Timo commits so wholeheartedly to the project that he begins to neglect his many friends, even missing his weekly tennis game with his pal Suki. In spite of this, however, when disaster strikes Timo’s nearly finished garden, his friends all pitch in to help save the day. Timo learns a valuable lesson, without the inclusion of tired moralizing, and makes sure to show all of his friends how wonderful he thinks they are.
The format of the book does an excellent job of holding interest. It incorporates lists on illustrated notebook pages, colourful half-page drawings on most pages—often across spreads—and an illustrated glossary of flowers at the end.
The text is simple enough for beginning readers for the most part, but does incorporate just the right amount of more challenging words to hone sounding-out skills. In addition, the use of some consistent rhyming text, alliteration, and onomatopoeia, adds whimsy and a lyrical tone to the story, a rarity among chapter books. Highly recommended.”—Nicole Rowlinson
Quill & Quire
“Encouraged to sign up for Toadstool Corners’ Great, Green Garden Tour, rabbit Timo begins feverishly planning and improving his garden. With rhythmic pairings of activity (“He trimmed and he tidied. He hurried and he scurried. Her raked and he staked. He worked and he worried”), Timo toils with boundless determination and relentless perfectionism, leaving little time to spend with his friends. Though tempted by Hedgewick’s spinach cakes, a visit to the lake, and tennis with Suki, it is only when a rainy day interrupts his efforts that Timo realizes he should have been tending to his friendships instead of his plants.
With deft pen and colour, respectively, author Victoria Allenby and illustrator Dean Griffiths pay homage to the characters (rabbit, hedgehog, mouse, frog, and badger) and gardens in the stories of Beatrix Potter while providing a light, cautionary tale about finding balance. Unlike Allenby’s fun 2013 picture book, Nat the Cat Can Sleep Like That (Pajama Press), which focused on true feline behaviour, Timo’s Garden takes an anthropomorphized approach and will speak to any reader who might get too wrapped up in seemingly important endeavors.
The images by Griffiths, whose artwork has graced more than 25 children’s books, complement the message. His endearing creatures, vibrant flowers, and brilliant garden designs will transport readers to a storybook world in which friends are riches not to be overlooked.”—Helen Kubiw
A version of this review appears on Helen’s blog, CanLit for LittleCanadians
“…In reading the book aloud, the wordcraft of the author becomes more pronounced; Allenby’s use of consistent alliteration and internal rhyme throughout Timo’s Garden adds to the enjoyment of reading it.…
Also noteworthy is that Timo, in his reflection on his garden, lists and describes many different types of plants and flowers. This detail could lead to informative discussions with children about different types of flora. Additionally, Timo’s friends are all familiar creatures (a hedgehog, a squirrel, a frog, for example), and each is personified with different personality traits and interests.
I like that the message of putting in effort towards a task, but not becoming overly focussed on that task such that other aspects of your life suffer, is one that can be applied to various situations (school work, sports or arts activities, etc.). The idea of having ‘balance’ in life is subtly shown…”
Nat the Cat Can Sleep Like That
Nat the Cat Can Sleep Like That is published in both hardcover and board book by Pajama Press. Here is their description of this fun bedtime book:
Nat can sleep in dresser drawers,
Or in front of bedroom doors...
Nat has a talent for sleeping all day long. Name any place in the house and Nat can sleep in, on, under, or sprawled over it. In fact, Nat is so devoted to slumber that the imaginative antics of a crazy kitten don’t seem to bother him one bit, until...
When the nighttime quiet falls,
When strange shadows fill the halls...
Now Nat is all fired up and ready to go! Will the kitten be able to keep up, or is it time for her to find the perfect place to settle down for a wee nap? Victoria Allenby’s rhythmic verse perfectly accompanies Tara Anderson’s irresistible art. Cat lovers young and old will delight in this not-quite-ready-for-bedtime treat.
How to Buy it:You can find Nat the Cat Can Sleep Like That on Amazon.ca or Amazon.com, but I recommend visiting your local independent book store. If they don't have it in stock, they'll be happy to order it for you.
Awards:A "Welcome to Kindergarten" Selection
Winner of the 2014 Preschool Reads Award
Nominated for the 2015 SYRCA Shining Willow Award
Bank Street Best Book
School Library Journal
“Nat, an orange tabby cat, spends his day sleeping in spite of the bustle going on around him. In fact, he can sleep anywhere–in drawers, on the stairs, even in a “cooking pot” or “flopping halfway off a shelf.” But “when the nighttime quiet falls,/when strange shadows fill the halls,/” Nat comes to life, joined by a black-and-white kitten. They careen around on toys, jump on beds, and enjoy the night sky perched on a window sill. Young readers will enjoy the brief rhymed text and find themselves chiming in on the repeated refrain, “Nat the cat can sleep like that!” And they will especially relish telling the unwritten story depicted in the large, mixed-media illustrations. In the three-quarter-page pictures that appear beneath the text, occasionally interspersed with double-page bleeds featuring close-ups of the two felines, the energetic kitten who plays with Nat at night tries repeatedly to rouse him during the day. He dangles string toys in front of the lazy cat’s face, rolls balls, plays the piano, tries to entice him with games–all to no avail. But whether sleeping or cavorting through the house, these two kitties are sure to win youngsters’ hearts.”–Marianne Saccardi, formerly at Norwalk Community College, CT
A playful black-and-white kitten observes the ease with which Nat, a larger tiger-striped at, can sleep anywhere at any time of day in Allenby’s well-rhymed debut picture book. In rich hues and textures, Anderson’s multimedia illustrations depict a home full of sunlit rugs, bookshelves, pianos, toy-strewn floors, half-full chests, and chairs of all shapes and sizes—any of which Nat can turn into the perfect place for a nap. Nat sleeps sprawled on his back, curled in a ball, with paw-covered eyes, and in many other feline postures, while the kitten busily spends his daytime hours sliding down a banister, experimenting with a toy wand, and smiling admiringly at his sleepy companion. But when nighttime comes, Nat is finally ready to play, and the kitten has a rambunctious companion of his own at last…that is, until he gets worn out and falls asleep on top of Nat. Sweet without being saccharine, this is a good choice for group read-alouds.—Francisca Goldsmith
" ...Canadians Allenby and Anderson have captured a cat any young ailurophile will recognize. The simple rhyming text listing the odd (yet realistic) places Nat can sleep during the daytime and all the silly mischief he and his black-and-white kitten sidekick get up to at night will hook young listeners. The watercolor, acrylic and pencil illustrations of floppy, goggle-eyed Nat and his buddy are a just-right pairing.
Good kitty fun that will demand repeated reads."
"Looking for a good bedtime book? Check out Nat the Cat Can Sleep Like That by Victoria Allenby. This cat can sleep through anything!"
Nat the Cat can sleep through anything, even the antics of his rambunctious kitten housemate. He can also sleep in, on, or around anything, including a cooking pot, halfway off a shelf, and of course in the comfort of the window’s sunbeams. The pesky kitten does eventually interfere with Nat and his dreamland—naturally when the rest of the house is quiet—and the two friends engage in some energetic antics while avoiding what actually should be their bedtime.
This rhyming story has a playful tone, great for reading aloud to preschoolers. The adorable illustrations by Tara Anderson, rendered primarily in pencil crayon, will appeal to the target audience a great deal, and may even inspire them to try their hand at similar drawings. The onomatopoeia in words like “whoosh,” “shush” and “hush” further add to the light heartedness of the book, and will be fun for kids to imitate.
Nat the Cat is a good choice for both a preschool storytime and for bedtimes, and young ones will especially find the bright illustrations sweet and charming.
"The rhyming word choice is spare in this delightful picture book for young children, and deliberately so. The language typifies cat behaviour, and having three cats myself, I nodded in recognition on nearly every page as Nat and the kitten sleep their way through the book... The mood of the book is playful, easily appealing to a preschool audience. Victoria Allenby’s title is a perfect choice for bedtime and storytimes for young children.Highly Recommended."—Jill Griffith
The National Reading Campaign
"In Nat the Cat Can Sleep Like That, author Victoria Allenby’s poetic text and illustrator Tara Anderson’s whimsical art lulls kids – and kitten – to sleep, making it a lovely bedtime read.
But it’s more than a bedtime story: it’s a tale of friendship and acceptance. It’s a story in which kids safely explore relational differences and boundaries through the eyes of cats. Allenby and Anderson use their respective tools to show the felines’ movement from discord to harmony. As Allenby incants the chaos of a busy morning with loud clanging words, Anderson shows the kitten creating chaos of his own. Kids will love to see what he tries next!
... Parents and teachers will love Allenby’s word play. Her use of repetition and alliteration is calming and her steady cadence is mesmerizing. Nat the Cat Can Sleep Like That is a story of love and limits… and it might just induce a good night’s sleep."
CanLit for LittleCanadians
"Victoria Allenby's rhyming text takes the reader through a day in the lives of the two cats beginning with their people (only their feet seen) leaving for the day. Tara Anderson's cheerful cats then engage in their favourite activities, with the text firmly focused on Nat's sleeping. But everything changes when it's dark and no one is around to watch the two. A final twist in the story shows that the two felines are destined to live happily together...
Tara Anderson['s illustrations]...demonstrate her knack for felines. Coupled with Victoria Allenby's simple but zippy rhyming story, Nat the Cat Can Sleep Like That is a delightful read, perfect for getting your own little ones to bed, whether they be human or feline."—Helen Kubiw
Sal's Fiction Addiction
"The text is just right for little ones, and for those wanting to read books on their own. It evokes movement, and typical feline behaviors. The mixed media artwork (pencil crayon, watercolor, gouache, acrylics and glaze) adds charm and delight to the reading. The bright colors and textured images are sure to interest young listeners, while adding a parallel story to the one told in words.
They are sure to want to hear it again and again. So, be prepared."—Sally Bender