A Book of Sleep came out a couple of years ago, but I'd never heard of it until The Horn Book mentioned that a board book version of it was being released (they said the board book version was too small and the images were really dark, so you know, skip it).
Now I am in love with this book and am bumping it to the top of my "books to give for baby showers" list. It is SO darling. And since this doesn't appear to be very well-known, you could give it without much worry that it'll be the fifth copy they've received (unlike Goodnight Moon). Unless, of course, I'm going to that baby shower too. In which case, back off.
This is the perfect bedtime story - not too long, quiet pictures, plenty to look at, and a soft, soothing storyline.
The book shows a dark night, with the owl the only animal still awake. The owl visits quite a number of different animals, all of them sleeping in different ways - some snoring loudly, some with their eyes open, some in groups, others alone. In the end, the sun comes up and all the animals wake up. "Except for the tired owl."
The illustrations are so whimsical, full of character and color without being busy, and it is great fun to try and spot the owl in each picture:
I've read this to Ella at least half a dozen times already. Now time to go check out his other books from the library including the recently released Snow Rabbit, Spring Rabbit. I love finding a new author.