What Happens While You Sleep

NorthSouth. May 2021. 48p. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9780735844469.
PreS-Gr 2–When we close our eyes at night, what is actually going on inside our heads? In this cerebral tale, readers take a peek inside the brain of Malu to find the thinker Conshus, closing his shutters after Malu’s busy day at the zoo. As she sleeps, Hippo and Campus, two colorful, childlike characters, sort through the memories of her day, filing them away where they are needed. Russelmann tackles the mystery of sleep and dreaming, turning it into an adventure. Illustrations in chalk and watercolor are bright and whimsical, but a clunky writing style weighs the story down. The concept of how the various parts of the brain process the thoughts of the day is interesting, but the overall plot isn’t strong enough to keep readers engaged.
VERDICT Although a valiant attempt to explain some aspects of the brain to children, this title is not recommended.

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