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Already Asleep    by A. D. Tarbox & Julie Olson order for
Already Asleep
by A. D. Tarbox
Order:  USA  Can
Moo Press, 2006 (2006)
*   Reviewed by Hilary Daninhirsch

This story in verse - appropriate for bedtime - seems to be loosely based on the nursery rhyme, Diddle Diddle Dumpling, My Son John.

It starts: 'Cute as can be, my son John, went to bed with shoes on; One cleat off, one cleat on, Already asleep, my son John.' It continues, 'A day of baseball, bugs, trucks, and trees. That is why John is already asleep.' The book then follows each family member (including some animals), charting each person's (or animal's) busy, highly energetic day, and explaining why each of them has already fallen asleep.

While it is a cute concept, the rhythm is somewhat off; it is not easy to read aloud without wanting to add an extra beat or two to the verses. Also, the book is told from the perspective of the mother who, towards the end, comments about why her husband Lee is already asleep); therefore it is not child-centered as are most children's books. The illustrations, however, are cute and nicely capture the characters' fatigued state of being!

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