Arlo: The lion who couldn’t sleep (Book Review)

Arlo: The lion who couldn’t sleep is a beautiful new bedtime story from Catherine Rayner.

Arlo is a tired lion, but he just can’t get to sleep. He feels many things, for him the grass is too prickly and the earth too hard. Children will be able to identify with the irritations they may sometimes feel at bedtime, just like Arlo. Fortunately, Arlo isn’t the only creature awake, and before long Owl gives him some advice on how she is able to sleep during the day.

Arlo: The lion who couldn't sleep

The song that owl sings to Arlo is a beautiful one, and I could imagine my children remembering the refrain on their own one day. As Arlo thinks about the places where he’d like to go we can imagine him “bounding up mountains, wading in rivers and climbing enormous trees.” But it’s when he imagines himself needing a rest, cuddled up with his cosy, snoring family that he finally drifts off to sleep.

It’s all too common for children to feel tired but just not be able to fall asleep, and so they will identify with how Arlo feels. There is also the gentle encouragement that, like Arlo, they too will wake feeling happy and full of energy again. The friendship between Arlo and Owl is central to the story too, as Arlo also helps her to fall asleep and then later they sing her song together to the lion pride.

In addition to the sweet story that will no doubt become a favourite at storytime, your child will fall in love with the hero of this book – a stunning golden and brown lion named Arlo. The illustrations in Arlo are strikingly beautiful and little ones will delight in exploring the pages of the story, Arlo’s beautifully scruffy textured mane will make them reach out to touch this lion and when he smiles it will soon be reflected on their own faces.

If your child is a fan of the popular The Go-Away Bird picture book by Julia Donaldson and Catherine Rayner, they will enjoy spotting the go away birds in the beginning of the story too.

Arlo: The lion who couldn’t sleep is available in hardback for a recommended retail price of R257. It’s recommended for children aged three to six years.

Thanks to Pan Macmillan for sharing this wonderful book with us.

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