Hush Little Turtle

Under the dark night sky, a group of friends rests cozily in their sleeping bags—except for Turtle. Though his pals are quick to offer suggestions to help him snooze, warm milk, a lullaby and rocking provide no relief. The techniques to placate him cross species boundaries, to often humorous effect; Octopus’ suggestion that the reptile stuff a pacifier into his mouth is sheer delight. Turtle’s own idea for napping satisfaction requires some creative planning on his pals’ part but finally turns restlessness into relaxation. The dialogue successfully captures the good-hearted banter, and repetitive statements enhance the deadpan fun. “Turtle turns over. Again. And again, and again, and again. ‘Oh great,’ he sighs after a while. ‘Now I’m all tangled up.’ ” There’s folksy flair throughout as black backgrounds showcase animals comprised of intricately detailed patterns on shells and fur. Bat’s polka-dotted face, striped body and flowered wings are representative of the ebullient design.

The Sleeping Porch

When the intense heat drives young Brando to sleep on the porch, he is awoken around midnight by a cat from a nearby graveyard. Together, Brando and Graveyard Cat embark upon a rollicking adventure: leaping up to the rings of Saturn, visiting the Arctic seas, scaling cliffs and sliding down slopes. Brando is certain his journey with Graveyard Cat was just a dream, but finds that he can’t be entirely sure . . . This imaginative tale is perfectly complemented by Ian Wallace’s charming illustrations.