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Infectiously funny fantasy

Sleep Tight!

Mattias De Leeuw

While his sister has been in the land of Nod for a while, brother is not yet ready for bed. First he has to tuck in his cuddly toy, chase away bad dreams, count the stars and feel cold. In the meantime, brother’s parent is growing increasingly desperate.

Mattias De Leeuw depicts the room with the children’s bunk bed in black-and-white, while superimposing the boy’s fantasy on it as a colourful layer. So the bed turns into a fire engine, an igloo, a rocket and a medieval castle while the boy is visited by bears, penguins, octopuses and cats.

De Leeuw does not need much to create a world of his own, showing us that simple can be great.

De Leeuw’s smooth strokes of the pen create a lively dynamic, especially in the colourful fantasy illustrations, which form a nice contrast with the more muted spreads in which we only see the bedroom door and the exclamations of the parent – who is close to a breakdown near the end of the book. ‘Sleep Tight!’ is a cheerful little book about not wanting to go to sleep, the power of fantasy and… of books.

A gorgeous picture book that deserves a place in every bookcase